It appears the song remains the same as Madison County supervisors continue to squabble. The subject of the latest scrum is the county road plan. It seems one Gerald Steen is determined to have his way. The Madison County Journal reported recently:
District 3 Supervisor Gerald Steen rammed through a $13 million road resurfacing plan he plans to complete in the next 15 months and perhaps finance over the next 20 years, despite objections on Tuesday night from two supervisors who say they were not involved in the process.
District 1 Supervisor Sheila Jones and District 2 Supervisor Trey Baxter voted against the plan during a regular meeting of the Madison County Board of Supervisors until they have an opportunity to review the suggestions and determine how the work would be funded.
The pair unsuccessfully tried to table the item for two weeks but failed 2-3, with Steen, District 4 Supervisor David Bishop and District 5 Supervisor Paul Griffin voting against.
“This is taxpayer money,” Jones said. “At least one district supervisor didn’t know anything about this until tonight.”
Baxter added, “I don’t know how delaying two weeks is going to encumber anything.”
County Road Manager/Engineer Dan Gaillet initially presented the board with an unfunded four-year road plan to the tune of $51.3 million and asked the board for recommendations how to move forward.
After the board approved the unfunded road plan, Steen proposed his plan.
“Every district has needs,” Steen said. “(I’m) just trying to put together something everybody can live with and get some things done throughout the county.”
Steen said they would fund the roads through bonds, although there were no details given on how long the bonds would be financed.
A large number of roads in Steen’s plan are resurfacing projects in subdivisions.
Gaillet said borrowing money over 10 years to pave roads would be unwise because the overlay work lasts about that long.
County Administrator Shelton Vance said he didn’t have the opportunity to look at the numbers but it could be a combination of bonds, some being 20-year notes.
Jones and Baxter then tried to table the item again until Vance had an opportunity to meet with a bond consultant to discuss options but it too failed 2-3.
“Any bonds is gonna come back in front of us to vote for,” Steen said.
“Does it not bother anyone not all of us have the information,” Jones pleaded.
Steen, Griffin and Bishop ultimately approved Steen’s road plan in a 3-2 vote.
Only 12 of the 59 roads included in the $13 million package were identified in a county road evaluation report by Stantec in 2016 which ranked roads according to condition and traffic count.
“Our road plan should be a comprehensive one that keeps traffic moving, fosters growth and development and provides safe roads,” Baxter, who serves as Board President, said Wednesday. “At the same time we have to consider it in terms of our overall budget and debt.
“We need to make sure we prioritize projects and live within our means before we blow our budget on projects that may or may not be vital to smart growth and development,” he continued. “I am also firmly opposed to borrowing money that taxpayers will still be repaying long after the roads it paved are gone.”
The roads included on Steen’s plan include:
• Cherry Hill reconstruction for $350,000
• Plantation Drive for $14,000
• North Ridge Subdivision for $133,000
• Wildberry Pointe for $6,100
• Baywood Pointe for $10,500
• Strawberry Pointe for $5,250
• Dogwood Pointe for $10,500
• Mockingbird Lane/Huntington Drive for $101,500
• Rosewood Pointe for $5,250
• Pickford Pointe for $5,250
• Bradford Pointe for $5,250
• Cedar Pointe for $4,375
• Honeysuckle for $21,000
• Oak Ridge Circle for $35,750
• Hillchase for $13,000
• Long Cove Drive for $29,250
• Long Cove Court for $4,874
• St. Charles Place for $27,625
• Bayview Drive for $30,875
• Baytowne Square for $4,062
• Derby Drive for $16,250
• Woodgate Drive for $26,000
• Greensview Drive for $19,500
• Hampton Way for $16,250
• Aspend Drive/Vail Cove for $20,000
• Chinquapin Cove for $11,500
• Clear Water Cove for $9,000
• Edgewater Drive for $28,500
• Gateway Drive for $15,000
• Lakeshore Drive for $14,500
• River Gate Cove for $10,500
• Dave Brown Road for $164,000
• Spillway Road for $100,000
• Robinson Springs Road for $2.5 million
• Cobblestone Subdivision for $250,000
• Sandlewoods Subdivision for $500,000
• Highwoods Subdivision for $200,000
• Treasure Cove for $100,000
• Old Agency Parkway for $600,000
• Lake Castle Road for $500,000
• Sunnybrook/Cotton Road for $700,000
• St. Augustine Drive from Highway 51 to Old Canton Road for $125,000
• Rice Road from Highway 51 to Pear Orchard Road for $125,000
• Virlilia Road for $2.5 million
• Industrial Boulevard for $160,000
• Stokes Road Bridge for $375,000
• Greens Crossing for $350,000
• Purvis Road Bridge for $500,000
• West Sowell Road for $50,000
• Finney Road for $260,000
• Harvey’s Crossing for $600,000
• Beamon Road for $350,000
• George Washington Road for $50,000
• Tyson Road for $80,000
• Green Road for $37,000
• Deerfield reconstruction for $700,000
• Grown Williams Road for $100,000
So who is going to get paid on the bonds?