Lubbock County falling behind on road maintenance - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/3/10

Lubbock County falling behind on road maintenance

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - New information shows that in comparison with other counties, Lubbock County is falling behind on road maintenance.

Kenny's Koral is located down County Road 7500, and you have to brace yourself for a bumpy drive.

"It's getting out of hand," says Kenny Ellis, owner of Gunshack and Kenny's Koral.

Since 1992, when Ellis opened the corral, he has had problems with the road leading up to his business.

"We've spent several thousand dollars over the years hauling caliche in ourselves, maintaining our part of the road - we have to in order to get customers in and out," says Ellis.

Recent bad weather has left county roads in ruins, but funds for repairing them fall short.

"I was told there was no money in the budget, the county budget, to haul in caliche, and basically every time it rains it's still a mud hole," says Ellis.

Looking at 22 different Texas counties, on average, Lubbock County's budget for road maintenance is about half that of others with $4100 rather than $7600.

Each Lubbock County employee is responsible for 35 miles of road, compared to the typical 14 miles for each worker in other counties.  

"We have far more roads than we have people and money to maintain," says County Commissioner Bill McKay.

McKay oversees the area where Kenny's Koral is. He says rapid growth has the county under pressure and that other priorities come first.

"We've had a number of other greater issues, the Lubbock County detention center and once we get that facility open up that is going to free up some funds. We anticipate to be able to address some of our county road needs," says McKay.

Until then, Ellis will have to wait. "It'd be nice if the county would come in and caliche all of it but you know they don't have the money," says Ellis.

Commissioner McKay says traffic and safety determine how the resources are used on county roads. He also says the commissioners hope to add more money to the budget for road repairs.

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