Residents question supervisors about funds

By NIKKI ROWELL,

One after another, several Madison County residents living in Ward Four stood at the podium at the latest meeting of the board of supervisors to voice their concerns about road issues and the lack of funding allotted for road repairs within their ward.

The residents came not only to speak out about needed road repairs but also to seek answers. 

Bishop confronted board president supervisor Trey Baxter about taking funding from road projects in Bishop’s ward to pay for projects in other wards.

“I appreciate all the folks coming up here to talk about the roads that we need to fix,” Bishop said. “I guess now is as good a time as any to say this. I know at the February 4 meeting, you (Baxter) made a motion on the 2019 road project plan to substitute the roads they’re talking about for roads in other districts. All the roads that were substituted are roads in District Four.”

Bishop said he was concerned about this. He added that the taxpayers in his district deserve to know why Baxter feels these taxpayers should not have their roads taken care of.

Baxter confirmed that $150,000 was put toward Bozeman Road. He said the reason was that road has 17,000 cars traveling on it and needed the repairs.

“These folks pay the same taxes,” Bishop said.

Baxter said the change to the road plan was for him “to make up for the bond issue y’all cut me out of.”

“Do you remember that? I had to make up for it,” Baxter said.

At the first meeting of the board in February, Baxter presented a change to the 2019 road plan.

There was much confusion about the changes, but the new plan was approved.

The new plan took funding away from 12 projects within Ward Four, according to Bishop.

“This is not personal, this is bad government,” Bishop said.

Scott Mardis was the first resident to speak on his concerns.

He came in with his father, who is confined to a wheelchair.

He asked if something could be done about McCullough Lane and Cane Creek.

“We understand potholes, but a couple of months after they patch it it’s back to normal,” he said.

He said he understood that there was money for it, but it was removed and went somewhere else.

“When we try to take my father down the road, it beats him to death barely going two miles an hour,” he said.

“Sorry y’all had to come in, I know it was probably difficult,” Bishop said.

“Very,” Mardis responded.

Four others came to the podium with their own road issues and how long they’ve been told the projects would soon be handled.

Bishop’s motion to switch out roads on the plan failed 3-2, with him and Gerald Steen voting to approve.

 

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