County asks for road plan

Published 9:59 pm Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Chilton County Commissioner Allen Caton wasn’t surprised when he noticed graffiti on County Road 8 that read something like, “Fix me.”

The spray-painted message is an expression of the public’s frustration over an issue that continues to plague virtually every part of rural Chilton County.

“I have people ask me about roads every single day,” Caton said. “They’re not having a fit and fussing and raising Cain about it; they just want to know when their road will be fixed.”

Recently, the county funneled $50,000 in excess reappraisal funds into the Road Department. The money is being used to hire two temporary workers and purchase material to patch the county’s crumbling roads.

Monday night, Caton requested a plan from County Engineer Tony Wearren outlining how the repairs would be handled. Caton said the primary reason for requesting the plan was to be able to better answer questions from residents.

Wearren agreed to the plan but said the best thing commissioners can do is refer people to the Road Department to report their road.

In the winter, most road complaints came from residents of dirt roads following the heavy rains and freezing temperatures. Now, most calls seem to come from residents of paved roads regarding potholes.

Wearren said the damage to paved roads is also partly due to the extreme winter conditions.

“They’re just rotten roads,” said Wearren, explaining that in some cases, crews must bypass smaller potholes to patch the more critical ones.

He said that crews work to repair as many roads as possible while in a specific area, rather than running back and forth trying to answer individual complaints. For this reason, some residents may have to wait until a crew is back in their area before their complaint is addressed.

“I don’t know how we can do it more efficiently,” he said.

Caton commended Wearren on the department’s efforts despite shortages in manpower and low revenue.

“He’s doing the best he can with what he has,” Caton said.