Unexplained Delays in County Road Repairs

by Lori Kibodeaux

What does it take to get roads fixed in Tyler County? Our county commissioners seem to have unlimited excuses when it comes to getting our county roads repaired, but have put grant-funded repairs above all other consideration. Why? There is no viable reason for this since the grant-funded roads are supposed to be repaired using contractors, not county employees.

We, and I am told others in various parts of the county, have been promised for months to get our County Road repaired and have been getting one excuse after the other from Commissioner Marshall. Some of the excuses we have gotten are: "Everyone had to take vacation or they would lose it," and, "the ground isn't warm enough yet," and "we've had to culvert repairs" (in a drought? Really?), and "the weather isn't cooperating." Seriously - the entire system shuts down because EVERYONE on the road crew has to take vacation at the same time or they will lose it? This was the excuse 3 weeks ago and was still the excuse on Friday. How much vacation do these people get in a year?

We have a disabled son who is wheelchair-bound and the state of our road causes him a good deal of pain due to the bouncing and jerking that occur when he is riding on the handicap school bus or in the wheelchair van. There are times when he cries from the jolting he receives. In addition to the jostling our son is getting, our wheelchair van has also been taking a major beating. We have spent a great deal of money on repairs that are directly related to the beating it is taking going up and down our road. This van is the only means of transportation we have for our son.

We have been requesting for our road to be repaired for over a year now and Commissioner Marshall promised us months ago that he would get our road repaired "as soon as the weather gets warm." Well, the weather has been warm, hot even, for 2 months now and we have yet to see the first sign of a road crew. Apparently, culvert repair in a drought is more important than a disabled child's well-being.

It does seem an odd coincidence that county-funded/budgeted repairs cannot be made using county employees and grant-funded repairs using "contractors" can.

It is a sad time for our county when our local representatives are no more trustworthy than the politicians we have in Washington!