Two disgruntled citizens attended the Jackson County Commission meeting on Monday afternoon and addressed the commission about County Road 93 and the county’s financial situation.
Robert Dean Allison of Bryant was concerned about the condition of County Road 93. The road was damaged in the February floods, and has been closed since. No work has been done on the road, or any of the roads damaged by the floods, because the county is waiting on aid from FEMA and it does not have to money to hire contractors to fix the roads.
“It needs some attention now,” said Allison.
Allison said he would like the commission to get something started and said contractors would fix the road if the commission would initiate the process. He said the road is important to the community and an inconvenience to the citizens of the area.
County engineer Jonathan Campbell tried to explain to Allision why the road has not yet been repaired. He said there are four mountain sides and two bridges closed in the county and only 25 boots on the ground to do the work the road department needs to do.
Campbell said there are a series of steps before FEMA is satisfied. He added the county does not have the money to do all the repairs at one time.
Allison still did not understand why the road could not be repaired, and said he felt like the community was being ignored and overlooked by the commission.
Commission Chairman Tim Guffey again pointed out that the county does not have the money to hire a contractor, but they would if they had the money. He said they would get to it as fast as possible.
District 4 Commissioner Mike Sisk said he is still getting questions from upset citizens about County Road 17. He said the county has procedures it has to follow, and their hands are tied. He said the county is moving things along.
Johnny McAllister also addressed the commission on the county’s financial situation. McAllister said he was tired of hearing the county does not have any money.
“When I have a problem and can’t afford something, I get another job and get more money to fix the problem,” said McAllister.
He wants to see some action where the county is doing something to change the situation.
“Don’t blame the problem on somebody else. Take care of your problems,” said McAllister. “Put some tax in or something. There’s got to be something you can do to raise money.”
McAllister has attended commission for the last couple of months, and the commission has said countless times it cannot raise money without the legislative delegation. Monday, the commissioners again tried to explain to McAllister there is nothing they can do.
McAllister suggested doing away with the commission to solve the problem.
“What’s the purpose of the commission?” asked McAllister.
Guffey and Sisk explained to him that there are several other departments and services in the county that rely on the commission.
McAllister also suggested the commission start informing the public of what is going on and what needs to happen to fix the problem.
Guffey said the comments from Allison and McAllister show how uniformed the people of Jackson County are. He hopes the upcoming town hall meeting will clear the air and show citizens the problem.