Raleigh Road repair continues to cause concerns for county residents
By: Darrell Todd Maurina
Western District Commissioner Ricky Zweerink speaks with Raleigh Road resident Rita Cowan.
PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (April 12, 2010) — Raleigh Road resident Rita Cowan, who came to the county commission last week Thursday with numerous requests for information on the poor condition of her road, returned to the commissioners Monday with additional questions from her neighbors.
“They would like to know when the road work will begin,” Cowan said. “It really goes bumpity-bump out there.”
“You’re being kind; I’ve heard it called other things too,” said Western District Commissioner Ricky Zweerink.
Zweerink, who had earlier told Cowan that the poor pavement work would probably need to be torn up and replaced with gravel, said he expects the road work can begin after the spring rains end.
“We could probably start this summer sometime,” Zweerink said. “This is going to take steps at a time; we’ll probably tear one half (of Raleigh Road) up and work it down and then there will be a little bit of inconvenience for two or three months or maybe a little longer, depending on how the weather goes.”
Residents will need to pay the county for the cost of culverts, estimated at $400 each; the county road workers will then install the new culvers.
“What was stated in here on the culverts (for a cost estimate) may be a little high; on the driveways it may be less and that’s good if it is,” Zweerink said.
Zweerink said many people use Newcomb Hardware in Crocker to buy the culverts but that’s not mandatory.
“It doesn’t matter to me where you pay for them; it’s just that Richland doesn’t handle them, there’s nowhere in Laquey that does it, but if you want to get them somewhere else, that’s up to you,” Zweerink said. “I’m trying to get the water off the road. We could put two culverts in one spot and it would really make a difference right away.”
Cowan asked what will be done with money that residents of several side roads off Raleigh Road paid to have their roads improved.
“They were under the impression it was going to be used for side roads,” Cowan said.
“So you paid your money to the county?” asked County Clerk Diana Linnenbringer.
“I didn’t do it, but my neighbors said they did,” Cowan said.
Responding to questions from Cowan and Linnenbringer, Zweerink said it appears that Terry Schultz, the original developer of the area, collected additional money for Red Bone and Red Fox to be paved, but they never have been paved. The payments were made prior to Cowan moving to the area in 2006, she said.
“If you give us enough time we may be able to get them fixed just like Raleigh Road,” Zweerink said. “I’ll have to look at them; I haven’t even had time to pay any attention yet, I’ll be honest, because I’ve been looking at the main road.”
The main problem, Zweerink said, is that some residents have refused to allow the county to install culverts which are needed to address drainage problems. In one area, ponds of collected water have turned into a swamp.
“The basic thing is getting the water under the driveways through the culverts and off the roads,” Zweerink said. “We can make it work if people will work with us, but sometimes the answer is ‘no.’ … It’s hard to keep or fix asphalt or anything if there’s water on the road or oozing up from underneath.”
Presiding Commissioner Don McCulloch said someone needs to find out what was done with the money to pave side roads that may never have been paved, even though the paving job on the main road was done poorly enough that county road workers now need to tear the road out and replace it with gravel.
“I’m sure your issue is somebody paid for these and then it didn’t happen,” McCulloch said. “You might want to find out who you paid it to and then we can go from there.”
After Cowan left, Eastern District Commissioner Bill Farnham said something must be done to prevent developers from building poor-quality roads and turning them over to the county.
“It’s getting so I don’t want to take any more of them unless they’re gravel or first-class asphalt,” Farnham said.