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Your Opinion: Gravel roads remain unpaved

Your Opinion: Gravel roads remain unpaved

June 2nd, 2011 by Palmer W. Scheperle, Jefferson City in News

Dear Editor:

If you shop in Cole County you have been paying a half-cent sales tax since 1986. Cole County citizens were promised that the gravel roads in Cole County would be upgraded to pavement. Fourteen years later in 2000 they were again promised that all gravel roads would be upgraded to pavement in 10 years to be paid for by the half cent sales tax. Now 11 years later and approximately 25 years (quarter century) since the original promise in 1986 the promises have not been kept.

So the big question is why the gravel roads of Cole County have not been upgraded as promised? One only needs to read recent newspaper articles pertaining to fund projects that are looking to divert funding from the county gravel road half-cent sales tax.

The County Commission is mulling potential projects, the list of projects with this money is being put together of more than $22 million the tax could generate between 2012 and 2016. They said it could come from the next five-year county sales tax. Do you see where the money is going?

Remember general revenue from property taxes is to pay for road maintenance, improvements and equipment.

The county half-cent sales tax is to upgrade the county gravel roads to pavement and bridge repairs as was promised.

Now as to the excuse that certain gravel roads does not meet the (questionable ever-changing) traffic count of so many cars per day, is the traffic count a delay tactic to create a continual supply of money by renewing the tax at five-year intervals to use other than what it is intended? Is this fair, honest and trustworthy government?

The issue and point is that promises made to the citizens have not been kept. The sunset clause on the half-cent sales tax will again expire this year for the fifth time and on June 7 it will be voted on again to extend for the sixth time for another five years.

This needs to be brought to the attention of Cole County voters. Do you fell we should keep paying the tax indefinitely? If the county is not going to upgrade the roads and bridges as promised then we feel we should not be paying the tax.

The county officials were elected to serve the will of the people, to lead and to govern, not to make rules against the will of the people.