In yesterday's earth-shattering, trailblazing, groundbreaking interview with the Knox County Mayor Tim “Mag Dog” Burchett (inside joke), we talked briefly about a proposal some commissioners (mostly Sam McKenzie) have about using at least some of the additional $364,000 that went to the engineering and public works department under the administration's proposed budget and sending to the Beck Center, the KAT and commissioner slush funds.
Yeah. The mayor isn't on board with that one.
So, I got some engineering records, the to-do list, the whatever.
Here's the deal (according to interim public works director Dwight Van de Vate):
The county has about 2,000 miles of roads. About 10 percent of them need immediate resurfacing. In 2000, the department resurfaced 95 miles worth. Between 2000 and 2004, the county resurfaced about 86 miles annually. In 2005, that number dropped to 65 miles and has declined ever since. Last year, the department resurfaced about 12 miles. The proposed budget for this year calls for 17 miles of resurfacing.
Nice. No wonder the roads around here suck.
You can read Dwight's memo to the mayor and Dean “The Emperor” Rice right smack here. It also includes another 10-12 pages of street names, dollars, coin, whatever, where work needs to be done. It's actually pretty detailed. I put it up here because I know you want to read it. So, again, click right smack here.
Now, here's where we get into the interesting stuff. Dwight wrote out (hope you can read his writing) a list of streets/roads/drives that are at the top of the to-do sheet. There's 11 of them, totaling a little more than $2 million. Now, the county isn't going to do all of them. But, if ANY additional funding is sliced from the engineering department, two roads - Amberset, located the 5th District and Coppock, in the 8th District - get cut first. They cost $117,000 and $218,000, respectively.
I don't know why those two get the hangman's noose. I didn't ask. Dwight probably has some good reason.
Now if you look at that list, which you can find by clicking right here, you'll notice something else: There are no roads slated for resurfacing in the 2nd District, which Amy Broyles represents, nor in the 1st District, which Sam McKenzie represents.
Well then, apparently McKenzie has nothing to lose by cutting the engineering department's street resurfacing coin. It's not like he's getting any help.
I'm curious, though, about what Dave Wright (8th District) and Richard “The Good Doctor” Briggs (5th District) think about the proposal. They've been usually quiet so far.
And they're the ones who could end up riding on those never-to-be-resurfaced bumpy, broke roads. Forever. Along with their constituents.
Something to chew on, I suppose.
UPDATE: Commission Vice Chairman Brad Anders pointed out to me that the reason there are no road projects in the 1st and 2nd Districts is because they are all in the city. Makes sense.