Weatherford Democrat

Top News

September 18, 2013

County opts not to pave new ground over roads funding

Commissioners go back and forth over funding formulas before deciding to keep status quo

By JUDY SHERIDAN

Tuesday morning, County Judge Mark Riley and commissioners Dusty Renfro and George Conley voted against a motion to leave the longtime Road & Bridge funding formula — which governs the revenue allocation to the four county precincts — the same.

By noon, the same trio voted to make a big change in the controversial formula, deciding to allocate equal amounts of revenue for each precinct, instead of giving more to those with the most roadway miles. A four-way split of some $10.4 million in revenues estimated for the 2013-14 budget year would have been a big shake-up for Precinct No. 2 Commissioner Craig Peacock and Precinct No. 3 Commissioner Larry Walden, had they not been able to persuade the court later to reverse its decision.

While boosting revenues to precinct No. 1 by about $352,000 and by about $213,200 to precinct No. 4, the new formula would have cut revenues to precinct No. 2 by about $194,000 and by about $371,500 to precinct No. 3, according to figures showing the 2013-14 allocations with the longtime formula.

After a several-hour recess, however, the court voted to restore the status quo 5-0, judging that the change — which Walden and Peacock said would dramatically impact services and employees — should be made over a longer period and in conjunction with an analysis by engineering firm Freese and Nichols. The firm is now prioritizing road improvements county-wide, as well as developing road construction standards.

In a less-discussed but significant action, however, the court voted 5-0 to end the practice of precincts amassing individual fund balances and pool them in the Road & Bridge fund instead, with the thought of setting aside money for the prioritized projects.

The final motion also authorized shifting $100,000 from the overall fund balance to precinct no. 4 and $200,000 to precinct no. 1, leaving a remainder of about $305,000.

“I’m proud of the court for moving that we work to establish a long-term funding policy based on the transportation recommendations Freese and Nichols will make,” Riley said.

Text Only
Top News
Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Poll

The City of Weatherford is considering an ordinance that would ban smoking inside restaurants and enclosed areas where food is prepared, sold or consumed. Do you agree with this proposal?

Yes
No
Undecided
Don't care
     View Results