Roads raise ire of residents

Friday, February 23, 2007

CHARLESTON -- Mississippi County's roads are in bad shape, according to the county's presiding county commissioner -- some so bad regular vehicles can't get down them.

Presiding County Commissioner Jim Blumenberg isn't the only one who has noticed: he said during the regular County Commission meeting Thursday that he has been receiving plenty of complaints from county residents.

The county will "address them as we can," he said. "We have to get the roads where people have to get in and out."

Blumenberg said he doesn't think two road graders working in tandem on gravel roads is working very well.

He also noted the county road and bridge department is not keeping track where graders have worked as previously arranged.

Commissioner Homer Oliver said it is easier to hold road grader operators accountable for the condition of roads if a single grader is used.

Martin Lucas, commissioner, said having designated roads for graders should make it easier to track road maintenance.

The poor condition of the roads is related to all the recent bad weather, Blumenberg said.

Lucas said the weather has been particularly hard on the county's blacktop roads.

In other business Thursday:

* Commissioners signed application documents and passed a resolution stating the county is in compliance with requirements for a Rural Development grant to fund the purchase of two all-terrain four-wheel drive vehicles for the Sheriff's Department.

* The county has been holding an average of 39 federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees this year with 55 presently being held by the county, according to Blumenberg.

He suggested the county should replace one of the prisoner transport vans with a used highway patrol vehicle to transport prisoners.

* Commissioners agreed the cars parked in the right-of-way of the old Highway 105 near a service station need to be moved before they cause a traffic accident.

* Sales tax receipts are down 6 percent for the year, according to Blumenberg.

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