HEFLIN — The Cleburne County Commission heard from two residents Monday night concerning conditions of county roads.
Bob Hardin said the road he’s lived on for two decades, County Road 75, is in bad condition.
“It’s the worst now it’s ever been in 20 years. So it’s not a issue with the weather,” Hardin said. “It’s an issue of it’s not being taken care of.”
Hardin talked with the commissioners about a solution, including sales tax and gas tax options, to help fund the roads.
“We’ve got to work together to get more money,” Hardin said.
Hardin said that a different road near him — County Road 25, where it goes over the mountain — is basically a one-lane road.
“You’ve got to get off on the dirt and if you get off on the right side coming down, it’s washed out so bad. I had to help a lady get out one day. She got stuck over there coming down the mountain,” Hardin said.
Commissioner Emmett Owen said there has not been an increase in the gas fund to help with infrastructure since 1992.
“It costs $100,000 to pave one mile of road,” Owen said.
County engineer Lee Estes was not at the meeting, but during a phone interview later he said funding is the issue.
“In order to fix the roads, they need to be resurfaced and at this time the budget does not allow for it. We will maintain them to the best of our abilities with the resources we have,” Estes said.
The recent rains have washed out or adversely affected several county roads according to Estes, including those numbered 675, 642, 665, 639 and 233. Road crews are out filling the potholes and sections affected by the recent heavy rains.
County resident Leonard Molden said the road he lives on — County Road 208 — is in bad shape as well. Molden addressed the commission last year with a right-of-way issue on the road. Then-county attorney Doug Ghee determined that Molden’s road was a county road, which cleared up a question over its ownership; there had been an issue whether the road was public or private.
“Last time I was here, it was debatable if it a was a county road or not, but the outgoing lawyer — he made it very clear it was a county road ditch to ditch,” Molden said.
Molden asked the commission if he could get legal authority to clean out a ditch that’s clogged with trees and other vegetation, which causes water to overflow and wash out the road and cause erosion.
Commissioner Laura Cobb said that during the years, the road kept getting shifted over, and trees have grown up to one side. Cobb said road crews will get to Molden’s road next week to patch up potholes and washed-out areas from the heavy rains.
“If they don’t want to cut the trees and stuff I got a good chainsaws — I know how to do that,” Molden said.
In other business
The commission passed three resolutions concerning the newly appointed Emergency Director and the Cleburne 911 Board.
• The Commission will pay half the salary of the new position of Emergency Manager from the Emergency Management budget.
• The Cleburne County E911 Board merged the responsibilities of operations manager with those of a deputy emergency manager and created the new position of deputy emergency manager director. The Commission will pay half the salary from the emergency management budget.
• The Cleburne County commission entered into a cooperative agreement for the purpose of employing a single director for the supervision of the both the E911 directorship and the old position of Emergency Management Agency director.
Every commissioner voted yes except for Laura Cobb, who said after the meeting she needed more time to go over the facts.
“I needed to know what was the cost of the benefits. What was the total costs of combining these two jobs together?” said Cobb.
“I didn’t want to make a decision without all the facts in front of me. I did that once; not going to do it again,” she said.
Cobb said she did not oppose the position but wanted to vote on it at next month’s meeting after getting more information.