Commissioners call for money to repair infrastructure

DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -- Counties around the state of Alabama are showing their support of new legislation that will bring in more money for maintaining and fixing roads.

Mark Culver, The Chairman of the Houston County Commission says “It’s primarily a safety concern, we’ve got city roads around the state that are not safe, and there’s no money to repair them”.

State leaders acknowledge there are road and bridge problem in the state and it's due to a lack of funding.

One solution for the problem is implementing an additional gas tax.

Culver says “We haven’t had any effort to put infusion if you will of new revenue into maintaining infrastructure in many, many years”.

A gas tax is not new to the state of Alabama, in fact there is already one in place, the problem is it hasn't seen any changes since the 90s.

This means the money coming in from it cannot keep up with today's prices.

Barkley Kirkland, The Houston County Engineer says “Back in the early 90s I was working for a contractor and asphalt prices were around 3 or 4 dollars a ton back then but now they’re $100 a ton today. Equipment is higher, everything is higher and we’re trying to operate on 1992 revenue in 2019 and you can’t do it”.

At the commission meeting commissioners adopted a resolution to support legislation increasing revenue for state infrastructure.

Culver says that “Our state has got to be ready to bring in industry and you can’t do it with poor infrastructure”.

Without additional funding, the wait will continue on road improvements.

Kirkland says “We still have miles and miles of road that need resurfacing that the money is not there so hopefully this gas tax will come in and allow more funding to pave these roads to get them up on safety standards because they’re starting to fail now”.

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