Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

January 26, 2011

Wallace says road maintenance hurt by jail costs

By Charles Wallace - Carter County Judge Executive

Jan. 26, 2011 —     Carter County Fiscal Court voted Jan. 11, 2011 to transfer another $100,000 out of the road department account to pay bills at the county jail.

    Carter County’s road department could have blacktopped three miles of county roads with that money.

    In the last eight years alone, Carter Fiscal Court has transferred enough money from the road department account to keep the jail open that the county could have blacktopped over 30 miles of roads.

    Since I have been in office, I have had to  take money out of the road department and general fund to make bonds and interest payents for  the jail.

    I have worked to refinance the bonds at the jail and the Justice Center to lower the payments for Carter County government. It is a shame that Carter County citizens have to travel on bad roads because the state misled the Fiscal Court 10 years ago by telling them to build a new jail, and that state revenue would pay for it.

    The flooding disasters in 2010 and the winter of 2011 have taken a heavy toll on our county roads! When summer arrives, the road department will be working on tight budget to patch and fix the roads.

    The problem I have with this issue is that we don’t have enough money to fix the roads correctly because of the transfers made to the Carter County Detention Center.

    On May 11, 2011, Carter County has another jail payment due in the amount of 267,381.25. This means more money will have to be taken from the road department account. These transfers leave the road department with very little funding to do summer upkeep on the roads.

    I don’t like this whole situation because the citizens of Carter County deserve better.

    Opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Carter County Judge-Executive Charles Wallace.