A Bourbon woman fed up with the condition of her county road appeared before the Marshall County Commissioners on Monday to voice her disgust with them. Beverly Samons lives on 8th Road between Chestnut and Beech Roads.
Samons introduced herself and said, “All we have is one big patch out there and everything is falling apart.” Raising her voice she said, “These roads are awful!” She then asked the commissioners when the planned to fix the road and commented, “Don’t tell me we don’t have the money because we do.”
Commissioner Kevin Overmyer asked her where the money was at to fix the roads and she said, “You’ve got the Rainy Day Fund, you’ve got all kinds of money from the Auditor’s Report you could get $10 million.
As Commissioner Kurt Garner attempted to explain the funds available, Samons interrupted him and shouted, “No sir! We pay taxes and you haven’t done a thing to our road and it’s getting worse. All we have is a big potholes out there!”
Commissioner Overmyer told the woman that the highway department is funded by gasoline tax and not property taxes. Sarcastically she said, “I’m not talking about property, I’m talking about taxes. Yes, you raised it….Listen, you have funds. You can move those funds around and you won’t do it.”
Overmyer informed Mrs. Samons that the County Council is the governmental body that can move funds around and she said, “Well then, get in gear and get it done. Everyone is getting real irritated about this and you guys are the beginning of it. Now get the roads fixed!”
Commissioner Garner told her that when he came in to office in 2015 he felt the same way she did. He said, ”My eyes were opened as to the conditions of the roads and the funding that we have to fix them.” He told her in 2015 the county spent $850,000 on roads. He continued, “We have more than doubled what we spend on roads and everybody’s road in front of their house is the most important road to them.”
Garner said the county has 911 miles of roads to care for and it will take a long time when they can only do about 40 to 50 miles a year.
Commissioner Garner encouraged citizens to call the County Highway Garage and report issues with their roads first. If they feel that action hasn’t happened then contact a commissioner and they are more than willing to go look at a concern.
Mrs. Samons calmed down and told the commissioners that she has great concern of standing water on her and worries that at some time one of the cars speeding down her road is going to hydroplane and hit a utility pole.
Garner said that the money she was talking about moving around is up to the county council. He said, “And there is only so much money that they can move around and keep the county financially stable.”
When asked by Samons if the commissioner has discussed additional funding with the council commissioner Garner said they have asked the council on an annual basis to help fund the road program above and beyond what comes in from the gas tax. He told her the council has given additional funds the last 2 or 3 years in addition to the gas tax funding. He said, “They are spending down those funds that you are talking about.”
Commissioner Mike Delp said, “Some of the problem is the misinformation that’s being put out by other candidates. I just think they have fueled a fire here, which is good, the roads need to be fixed but some of the claims they are making are not doable. Also, some of the dollars they are claiming, $10 million of it we’re already going to be getting anyway. It has nothing to do with their claims at all.”