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County road budget in black

The Pike County Commission’s road department budget is operating in the black for the first time in several years, reported County Administrator Harry Sanders at the commission meeting Monday.

But, that doesn’t mean the funding hardships are over.

The commission voted Monday to move funds within the road department budget, which Sanders said would buy them more time to come up with extra dollars.

“We moved money from the road and bridge fund to the gas tax fund,” Sanders said. “This allowed the gas tax to be in the positive frame for the first time in several years.”

While Sanders said this means the total road department budget is operating in the black, it doesn’t mean funding woes have come to an end for the department that has had to sell equipment and borrow funds to continue operation in the last year.

In fact, the money transfer will give the road department more time to sell one of its motor graders.

The commission has planned to sell this equipment for some time, in hopes of earning enough to pay off its approximately $140,000 loan it took for matching moneys for federally-funded road repairs.

This will give them more time to get a better selling price on the equipment, which Sanders said will be needed for day to day operations.

“We’re still a long way off,” Sanders said.

“It just means we’re operating in the black.”

In other business, the commission heard from Joe Jolly & Co., Inc. representative Matt Parker, who told commissioners their company had a way to decrease interest on the commission’s long term debt.

The money at one time was $10 million, and it was borrowed from a local bank.

The commission gave the OK for Sanders to receive more information about the commission’s funding options.

The commission also appointed Homer Wright to serve on the OCAP Board of Directors.

The next scheduled meeting, which would have been Dec. 28, has been cancelled. The commission will not meet again until Jan. 11.