Round and round we go again on the vicious circle of county roads, county dollar…the abundance of one and the lack of the other.
Mannford City Manager Mike Nunneley, Mayor Tyler Buttram and several Pelican Point residents recently decided to pay the Creek County Board of Commissioners a visit and discuss abundance and lack.
At Monday’s meeting Nunneley did something that is unprecedented in Creek County. He offered to pay half of the cost for repairing the road leading to Pelican Point with city funding. Now this is nothing new for the City. They have already spent $1.2 million fixing roads that are the county’s responsibility, according to Buttram. The hope was this might persuade the commissioners to make the repair happen and soon.
The mayor explained that economic growth is the life blood of a community and that growth does not happen on gravel or dilapidated asphalt roads. In order to keep Mannford on track with its desire for future economic growth and further its desire to attract new residents to the community, it must have good roads.
But half is still only half. District No. 2 Commissioner Rick Stewart told those in attendance that there is simply no more money in this year’s budget for a repair on that road. There is, however, an option that is possible, according to the board.
Since the county has been determined as a disaster zone, FEMA funds may be available. Buttram said they should know something within 30-45 days. If those funds do not come through, Buttram said he and Nunneley are going to meet with the commissioners and to attempt to get the road on the county maintenence schedule for next year.
Although Nunneley did most of the talking, the citizens did chime in after Stewart’s initial response to their request was answered with, “That county road is not that bad compared to other county roads.” He also retorted to Nunneley’s question, “what is the standard for a Creek County road with a response of ‘currently, we do not have one.’
The commissioners contend that there is simply not enough money to maintain the roads the way they should be after the tax money is allocated to the different agencies.
Buttram’s response to this paper in regards to that reason was that it appeared to him, the county government needed to be more efficient. He added that one would think that the city in a district which brings in the most taxes and helps maintain county roads would be given more consideration that was afforded them.