Spending public tax dollars wisely while repaving county roads is part of being a good steward for Clay County residents, according to Clay County Commissioners Charlie Brown, Paul Sinders and Jack Withers. So when newly-paved roads are damaged after being repaired, they can't help but take it personally.
"When damage is done to a recently repaired road, it's really a slap in the face to the tax paying citizens of Clay County," Sinders said about three separate incidents of a newly paved roads being damaged within a month. "It's their money we're using to maintain these roads and they should be upset."
Recently, the C.R. 900 N. (Pinckley St.) and Murphy Rd. intersection was repaired, but before the seal on the pavement had time to harden the seal was damaged by a vehicle that dug ruts in the road. The cost is difficult to estimate due to the expense of labor and materials, but Brown says it would be at least a couple thousand dollars to repair.
"Once the seal on the pavement is broken, it's only a matter of time and weather conditions before it falls apart," Brown said. "We need people to be aware that new pavement takes time to set up and they need to be patient with road work. This is their tax dollars at work, and now it is wasted."
With the hot mix used to pave roads costing $60,000 per mile just for the material, the commissioners want to ensure it is used wisely in areas throughout all the districts within the county.
With the roads considered county property, a person that damages the roadways could be charged with criminal charges, according to Withers.
"I've already contacted legal authorities about people damaging the roadways," Withers said, "According to the sheriff, if we can catch a person in the act, we can seek legal action and possibly compensation for the damages."
The commissioners want residents to use common sense when traveling in areas recently paved.
"People need to understand the magnitude of the effort and costs involved in these projects," Sinders said. "They don't realize how much it all adds up to, the cost of materials, workers and the amount of time it takes."