County approves issuing bonds exclusively for road projects

The Madison County Board of Supervisors recently approved a resolution to issue $8 million for road bonds.

The resolution lists 14 roads that could be funded by the $8 million, as well as the cost for each road’s improvements.

The resolution also specifically states that the funds cannot be used for other purposes besides fixing the roads throughout the county.

“I want everyone to understand there’s a lot more money on these roads than $8 million,” Gerald Steen, District 3 Supervisor, said. “So some of these roads may not see a dime.”

 The roads include Cherry Hill Road ($350,000), Robinson Springs Road ($2.5 million), Virlillia Road ($2.282 million), Tisdale Road ($1.2 million), Park Place Boulevard ($250,000), Greens Crossing ($350,000), Stokes Road Bridge ($375,000), Weisenburger Road, Yandell Road, Reunion phase 2, Reunion phase 3 ($8 million split with federal funds), Harvey Crossing ($600,000), Meadowgreen Lane and North Deerfield Drive ($700,000), and Sunnybrook Road ($700,000).

No amounts were known for Weisneberger Road, Yandell Road and Reunion phase 2.

All 14 roads that need improvement will cost more than $17,307,000, and are a compilation of the most need-based roads in each supervisor’s district.

Because the county took out the $8 million as a bond, officials will not need to split the funds with a city for road improvements.

“We have $15 million in the bank we can use toward roads, cash,” said Trey Baxter, District 2 Supervisor and board president. “If we use it, we have to share a portion with them. I’m in favor of doing that. I’m in favor of sharing it with all four cities. If we borrow, we don’t have to share it.”

Baxter voted against the motion to approve the final resolution, making the motion pass 4-1.

Baxter said as a supervisor, he has no problem borrowing for capital projects.

“For road paving, like for Bozeman Road or Reunion phase 3 where we have to match federal money, I don’t see any problem borrowing for capital projects. When you borrow longterm debt that’s 20 years long and the pavement lasts seven years, that’s like taking out a home equity loan to paint your house.”

Because the bond is a 20-year bond, the county has until 2037 to pay off the debt but will not need to raise county taxes for extra funds.

“Borrowing $8 million for a 20-year period will cost $563,000 a year, approximately” said Shelton Vance, county administrator. “We have the ability to pay that money without changing the tax levy, millage rates or any other financial component.”