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Your Opinion: Response on paving county’s gravel roads

Dear Editor:

I would like to take the opportunity to respond to the comments to the editor of Chris Yarnell and Norman Buescher on June 5. Both gentlemen stated that no where does it say that all gravel roads were promised to be upgraded to pavement and they suggested I get my facts right.

Let’s go back to the original Cole County sales tax ballot of Aug. 5, 1986, Proposition No. 2 “Shall the County of Cole impose a Countywide sales tax at the rate of one-half of one percent for a period of five years from the date of which such tax is first imposed for the purpose of rehabilitating existing roads and bridges, replacement of bridges and upgrading of existing gravel roads to hard surface roadways, including related costs, and for the purpose of repair, renovation and acquisition of county facilities; all aimed at improving public safety and convenience.”

The key wording is “existing gravel roads and bridges.” “Existing or existence” in World Book Dictionary, it clearly states, “all that exist.” And too, the intent or purpose is clear.

Also, one of the gentlemen used the excuse that paving all gravel roads was not practical or economically feasible.

Well, I guess it never will be if the money is used other than for what it is intended. Do we need an audit to determine where the money went and is now going?

Also, when did the road count rule of so many cars per day come into existence? It certainly was not included in the original proposal that the citizens voted for. Someone must have sneaked it in.

There are at least 22 roads that the Public Works Department has received petitions for upgrade, some have 100 percent signatures of owners willing to donate the right-of-way. Why can’t they upgrade in the order the 100 percent petitions came in and to as the money comes in.

To be a first-class county, safe county roads and bridges are most essential for the growth of our county and the towns within, to make the entire county a desirable place for families to live, work and retire, and too, it may help retain our young people, recently a concern of the area Chamber of Commerce.

Issue-oriented letters to the editor in response to this or about other local topics are welcome. All letters should be limited to 400 words. The author's name must appear with the letter, and the name, address and phone number provided for verification. Letters that cannot be verified by telephone will not be published. Send letters for publication to


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