Goodson shares insight on paving vote

Published 11:38 pm Friday, December 9, 2011

A news article recently appeared on the front page of The Messenger titled “Commissioners: Road vote driven by priorities” and I believe that this article only presented a part of the whole story concerning the issue of the payvement of a Pike County road in District 4, the Pleasant Hill Road.

I would like to present some additional information and facts regarding this issue. My goal in writing this is to do my best to insure that the entire story be given tot he people of PIke County for their consideration.

First, Commissioner Barron said in our meeting and was quoted in the paper that the “Pike County Commission has never paved a dirt road with 100 percent county money.” I have evidence to the contrary. There, over the years, have been many roads paved, throughout the county and in most districts, using 100 percent county money. The following roads ahve been paved with 100 percent county monies: County Roads 7741, 3307, 4420 and 4413. This is just an example; there are more beyond this list.

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I understand and agree that Pikek county has many unmet needs. I fully support our County employees as they strive every day to meet these needs. However, I do not agree that there cannot be any consideration given to the needs of the people of the Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in their request for aid in payving this road.

I have been meeting with the fine people of Pleasant Hill Church for many years concerning this road and I have pledged to them that I would do all within my power to assist them, when the county’s financial position improved to the point it would be possible. We are now at that point. We have a reserve in the county’s Road and Bridge Funde projected to be in excess of $750,000 at the end of this fiscal year. The entire County government has worked through some very difficult times and many sacrifices have been made over these years to reach this improved financial condition. In addition, beginning in 2007, we began receiving funds from the sharing of the 1-cent sales tax with our school systems. Currently the County receives 25 percent of that 1-cent sales tax. I was on the committee that worked over many years to make an agreement to receive this new revenue. It took the commitment of all the elected officials of this County to reach this agreement and to insure that this money has been spent wisely and not wasted. But, now it is time for me to keep my promise to the people that I represent.

We had enough funds to provide some equipoment for the road department, it may not fully meet all their needs but it does address what our county Engineer has given us as the highest priority. I voted to provide this money for this equipent and support the maintenance of all County roads. I also feel that we could appropriate the funds necessary. based on the estimate that I was provided, to pave this road and still maintain a reasonable reserve in this fund.

I was honored to make the motion to grant the request of the people of Pleasant Hill Church to pave Pleasant Hill Road. I stand by commitment to help them and all the people in my district and feel that everything I have said is true and that everything I have done is justifiable and right. I wish that my fellow Commissioners felt the same.

Ray Goodson

Commissioner for District 4