Three roads on a list of six that were funded by the state at the request of state Rep. John “Bam” Carney have been disqualified for funding.
Judge Executive Ann Melton said an inspector was at her office at 8 a.m. Wednesday morning to evaluate the roads that were being funded with discretionary money.
“I told him he was a little late since Rep. Bam Carney had already presented the MOA (Memorandum of Agreement) to the fiscal court,” Judge Melton said. The court approved the roads the previous night at the request of Carney. A heated exchange took place during the meeting between Melton and Carney.
Melton said the inspector, field representative James Hoskins, said that was impossible because the roads had not yet gone through the evaluation process.
After Hoskins inspected the roads, he reported that three of the roads did not meet criteria to obtain state funding, Melton said.
Melton said in a statement that her frustration is not with Carney for obtaining the funds.
“In my opinion, and according to state regulations, tax dollars were being wasted on roads that didn’t meet the state requirements,” she said.
During an interview with WAIN Thursday, Melton said she did not know the inspector was coming Wednesday morning.
“No, I know the process and I assumed he had already been there to make the evaluation and that was part of my frustration, knowing that some of these roads would not pass the evaluation process, yet the state apparently, at the Tuesday night meeting, was going to fund them anyway,” she said.
Rep. Carney issued a statement Thursday, saying he received a call from Don Pasley, commissioner of the department of rural and municipal aid, notifying him that some of the roads were deemed ineligible.
“The paperwork was processed in Frankfort over the past month. Mr. Pasley called me the middle of last week to notify me the agreement was ready to pick up. We both understood everything to be in order at that time,” Carney said.
Following Wednesday’s inspection, Joe Tom Grant Road, Roy Road and Taylor Ford Road were found not to meet standards, Carney said.
“Commissioner Pasley has informed me that the state stands by its offer of $385,000 of road assistance,” Carney said. “I urge Judge Melton and the elected magistrates to sit down and provide the leadership that the citizens expect and deserve and come to an agreement to best utilize these funds so that every district has its voice heard.”
Carney said of the six roads originally listed, five were requested by magistrates at some point.
“One, Joe Tom Grant, was paved in 2010 but with about three tenths of a mile left out, and the goal was to complete that road,” Carney said.
By Sharon Burton