County road maintenance remains an issue as bad weather persists.
With one deluge followed by another in recent months, Madison County’s 120 miles of dirt roads have taken their hits. Roads are frequently closed due to the nasty conditions.
Residents of two dirt roads, Waggoner’s Grove Church Road and Davids Home Church Road, appeared before county commissioners March 1 seeking some relief from the bad driving conditions.
While they would ultimately like their roads paved, they said they want gravel put on their roads to keep them passable.
BOC chairman Anthony Dove said the road department is working hard to keep all dirt roads in decent shape, but he said the rains have overwhelmed road maintenance efforts.
“Right now, we’re just trying to keep people going,” he said. “… When you get 50 inches of rain in a six-month period, I don’t care what you do, you’re going to have problems.”
The chairman said there is no way the county can apply a thick layer of gravel to all 120 miles of dirt roads in a short time.
A Davids Home Church Road resident told Dove that he understood there were a number of roads to cover, but he said his road hasn’t received gravel in five years.
Gina Ward of Waggoners Grove Church Road has appeared at several BOC meetings in recent months, urging the county to make repairs to at least a 1.6-mile portion of the more than three-mile road. She told the board that she is concerned about emergency vehicles having a hard time getting to residences on the road.
While dirt roads remain muddy, the county’s road funding future is murky at best. State funds for roads have been cut drastically. And the county allocated $3.95 million in sales tax money for roads for six years, compared to $8.6 million tagged for roads in the previous five years.
So, county commissioners will meet soon to try to clear a path ahead when it comes to road maintenance and road paving.
Dove asked each commissioner to submit a road priority list for their district. The chairman said he will get projected costs for each road and then the BOC will meet to determine the county’s top road needs.
Commissioner Bruce Scogin said the county should consider alternative, low-cost paving methods, noting that there are some materials other than asphalt used in some Georgia counties.
I know the dirt roads in our county needs attention. Once this is done how about coming out to the hardman road. This road is in poor condition at best. With the amount of taxes we are paying one would think they could at least patch pot holes. I noticed on the end at Johnnie Chandler road they patched a few holes. It seems they never get down to our end.