By Kimberly Combs Better Newspapers, Inc. In January, Travis Cheyney and Brad Loveless took office as District 1 and District 2 commissioners. The two men entered office with a plan…a six-month plan, a first-year plan, and a first-term plan.
Over six months into their first term as county commissioners, the two men are on target with their plans for improving Douglas County roads.
They have been building up road beds, pulling ditches so water has a place to run. It will take three or four “circles” before area residents will be able to see results. Commissioner Cheyney explained that the circles are the circuit that the graders travel. Grading is planned and a schedule has been developed so that the county utilizes its equipment in the most efficient manner.
Douglas County does not have the money to do what really needs to be done. Instead, funds are spread out and road crews try to make sure they utilize resources so they make the biggest impact and last.
The majority of Douglas County rural roads are gravel. There are some paved roads, but they are in dire need of repair. The county commissioners have applied for a state grant that, if approved, would enable the county to repair those roads. The county has filled several potholes but much repair work remains.
This summer while is has been too dry to grade District 1 has been replacing concrete slabs at low-water dips In one month Commissioner Cheyney said that three dips were repaired.
Keeping equipment operational is another challenge facing the county. Commissioner Cheyney said that he has had one grader down for several months. Repairs have not been made because they have a repair estimate of about $30,000. The county’s dump trucks are old, and the commissioners consistently have huge repair bills.
After being out of operation for a few years, the county has its brush cutter operational again. The crew has been staying busy cutting brush along roads. Recently two District 1 employees spent about 40 man hours each, helping the Fox Trotter Association prepare for its event, by cutting the brush. Cheyney said that he wished the county could have done more to help the organization, but with the road issues facing the county, hauling gravel or grading the Fox Trotter Association roads was not an option.
The county commission meets every Monday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon. Those meetings are open to the public.