As Cooke County’s budget year draws to a close, road workers in Precinct 2 have been making an extra push to finish more than double a normal year’s mileage of resurfacing projects.
Precinct 2 Commissioner Jason Snuggs said over the final 30 days of the budget year — which ends Sept. 30 — chip sealing has been scheduled every week in order to hit a goal of five miles in that time period.
Snuggs said he hoped that would “finish out the year strong, because with all the rain, we didn’t get to do as much as we wanted to” earlier this year.
His precinct and Precinct 3 to the west, which together cover the southern half of Cooke County, have been facing “several miles of paved roads that are due for total rebuilds,” Precinct 3 Commissioner John Klement said at the Aug. 26 meeting of the Cooke County Commissioners Court.
On Tuesday, Sept. 17, Precinct 2 workers chip sealed County Road 209 in Woodbine which Snuggs said had resembled “a moon crater.”
Favorable weather has put the crew ahead of schedule so far this month, Snuggs said. If the weather holds, the precinct this year will have resurfaced 12 miles of roadway that had “completely failed.”
“When the chip seal roads fail, you can’t just run down them with a road grader,” he added. Filling potholes works only temporarily, too, he said.
Normally, Precinct 2 workers chip seal about five miles per year, Snuggs said. He added he hopes to tackle several more problem roads in the 2019-2020 fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.
He’ll have some extra funding next year to do that. Each precinct will be getting almost $90,000 more for roads after commissioners redirected some tax revenues to the road and bridge fund for 2019-2020.
During its budget and tax rate approvals in August, the Cooke County Commissioners Court agreed to move a penny of the tax rate from the general fund to the road and bridge fund. All told, about 13 cents will go to the road and bridge fund out of the county’s maintenance and operations tax of 42 cents per $100 of assessed property value, according to the tax rate order.
That is expected to generate an additional $89,824 for road work in each of the county’s five precincts, according a calculation supplied to commissioners at the Aug. 26 meeting.
“That’s more that we’ll get to do,” Snuggs said, adding that amount would pay for about five miles’ worth of oil, the most costly part of chip sealing.