A letter about the one-half cent tax dedicated to roads; on Saturday, March 30 ballot.
To my friends and pot hole dodgers. We have a tax to vote on in March. It’s the only thing on the ballot to vote on, but is so important to our road system. As you know, I took an active part in voting the ½ cent and ¾ cent tax down, because it was not what we needed. Twenty plus years ago, there was enough money in the Police Jury to repair and pave new roads. Today, it is funding more projects than ever before causing a shortage of road money.
Police Jury or Home Rule funds are not a spring of everlasting waters, but are like an old -time cistern or barrel. With a cistern, all you can draw out is what runs in during rainy days. If you share water with other people, your cistern or barrel will go dry. Through the years, too much water has been taken out of the road system cistern and has dried up available water or money.
Reallocating is a possible way to take back some of these buckets of money. This will be next to impossible and take a long time. This ½ cent tax will help pour in new money to the road cistern for roads now instead of years later. Legal buckets have dipped into the road systems cistern through the years because of unconcerned voters. I must admit that I was not concerned about pot holes until there were too many to dodge anymore. Mr. Nowlin and the five council members are not magicians or counterfeiters. They can only use money they have available through voted taxes.
We are all upset about our roads, but what can we do to fix that? The roads did not get this way overnight and will not be fixed overnight. Vote for the tax and start progress in motion. I hear what you’re saying! We can’t trust them with the old money, why give them new money to misuse. We don’t really know that to be true. Road problems started a long time ago, not just in the last five or six years. To pave Allen Beulah Road, it will cost a minimum of two hundred fifty thousand dollars per mile. Seven miles of road adds up to one million seven hundred fifty thousand dollars.
I don’t know how much is being spent every year to patch the patches on this road, but it’s a lot. Paving some of these roads that are money pits will free up patch money to be used on other roads. Most likely maintenance money for two years of maintenance would pave a mile on someone else’s road. As it goes today, our road progress is in reverse. This tax can turn our road progress around.
I hear you again! Why can’t they use the money in better ways instead of a new tax to fix our roads? Fifty-one years ago, I worked a little for the ward, preparing my road for paving. Back then, seven miles of road was most likely less than one mile today. They call this inflation or modern times. Either way you look at it, it means it takes more money today.
This is a good tax that the state will help us with. We need this match money. As a private contractor all my life, I can tell you if there is no money, the job does not get done. If we vote against this tax, we no longer have a right to complain about our roads. I will vote for this tax as I don’t see much progress complaining has ever done except to raise blood pressure.
Thank you for your time and Vote for Progress.
Rev. Mark Megason