Consider all options to fix road issue

Published 7:51 pm Friday, April 15, 2016

The condition and maintenance of roads in Chilton County is almost always a topic at meetings of the Chilton County Commission.

Residents regularly attend the meetings to complain about the roads where they live or travel regularly. Even if no residents are present, it is common for a commissioner to bring up a road, saying he has been contacted personally by a resident.

The problem is a simple one, but unfortunately, the solution is anything but simple.

There are miles and miles of roads in Chilton County—many of them dirt roads. There are county-maintained roads that are little more than driveways. There are roads that carry so much traffic that a new pothole appears seemingly ever night.

But the county’s resources for maintaining these roads are limited. There are not enough employees in the Road Department, and there is not enough money in the county’s budget to hire new employees.

Engineer Tony Wearren has managed a budget that has remained flat for several years. Expenses are continually on the rise, and roads in a constant state of deterioration, yet Wearren is tasked with maintaining roads without an increase in funds.

It’s a losing battle, and the only way to change that is to change the way we’re fighting the fight.

Exasperated by the situation at the most recent Commission meeting, Commissioner Joseph Parnell recommended scheduling a work session to discuss the issue. Other commissioners agreed that dialogue was needed and said all options for addressing the problem should be considered.

We agree and hope the Commission follows through on this plan to work toward a possible solution. It will not be easy to find one, but the only course of action is to begin looking.