“They’re bragging out there that they got their’s free. It kind of makes me mad. They’re not free, those are tax dollars.”
That’s how Jeff Hogue brought a concern to the Liberty County Commission on Thursday. He said that about a year and a half ago, he and a neighbor paid the county to install culverts for driveways off Brights Lake Road on their property. Now, the county is improving the road, digging ditches and putting in new driveways with plans to pave the short road that arcs between Highway 84 and McIntosh Lake Road in the McIntosh community.
As part of the work, the county is installing culverts for driveways to residences along the road. That has been the county’s policy, according to engineer Trent Long.
“If there is a driveway there, we make sure we replace it,” he said.
Hogue said his and his neighbor’s drives are not being improved because they already met standards for the project. He questioned whether all of the new driveways with culverts were actual replacements, and implied he thought Commissioner Marion Stevens had approved some of them to curry political favor.
Stevens, whose district covers the area, denied it. He said some of the property along the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax-funded project did not have defined driveways and that he was comfortable with the placement of all the new culverts.
Commission Chairman Donald Lovette said he sympathized with Hogue’s concern, but that his decision to improve his property earlier was just unlucky timing.
“You just kind of fell into the scenario where you did the work before the project got under way,” the chairman said.