• December 27, 2014

Road repair saga continues for homeowners on Kinney, Nathan drives

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Posted: Friday, April 18, 2014 4:30 am

GATESVILLE — There is an old saying that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

A friend with a sharp wit tells me the opposite is often closer to truth: The road to good intentions is paved with hell.

The revised version of the aphorism applies to the continuing saga of Kinney Drive and Nathan Drive in Sun Set Estates subdivision north of Copperas Cove.

Over the past 10 years, residents of the neighborhood first tried getting the subdivision developer and then the Coryell County road department to fix the 1.8 miles of pothole-pocked pavement.

Last year, county officials came up with a convoluted process for fixing the roads.

The residents could vote to create a taxing entity, Road District 1, to borrow $100,000 to repair the roads then collect taxes from the residents to pay off the debt. Once the work was paid for, the road district would disappear and the county would maintain the roads.

Last fall, the neighborhood petitioned to put the measure on the ballot and voted 100 percent for the scheme to raise their own taxes to fix their roads.

Orville Maaninga, a spokesman for the neighborhood group, told commissioners this week the residents want to save money by hiring the county road department to do the work.

“We would like to have those holes fixed as soon as possible,” Maaninga said.

Before the work can start, Commissioner Jack Wall said, a hydrologist study of the drainage needs to be done.

Study cost $14,100

An estimate from engineer Otto Wiederhold puts surveying and engineering fees for the study at $14,100. The cost of digging, shaping and installing bigger culverts to move the water is estimated at $25,000 to $30,000.

Some of the landowners affected by the drainage work do not live in the subdivision, County Attorney Brandon Belt said, but on nearby Cactus Drive.

The extra work will add to the tax bite of the long-suffering residents in Road District 1.

“We would like to keep the price down and stretch out the payments,” Maaninga said.

A longer payout would delay the county takeover of road maintenance, Commissioner Justin Latham said.

“It would be better to take it over sooner so the roads would not deteriorate,” Latham said.

“We’re having to pay for it,” Maaninga replied.

County Judge John Firth said once the hydrology study is done and the cost increase is calculated, the commissioners — who sit as the board of directors of Road District 1 — will meet with the residents.

That meeting, probably in May at the Cove Economic Development Corporation office, will be to figure the paving cost of good intentions. There likely will be hell to pay.

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