Rock roads are rough on county

Published April 18, 2007

BROOKSVILLE - Dust-plagued residents see lime rock roads as a health problem; the Hernando County Commission has to face the bottom line.

After hours of emotional testimony, the commission agreed unanimously Tuesday to modify a county policy that left lime rock road residents to share the cost of repaving with the county. Skyrocketing asphalt costs put that out of reach of many residents.

The vote allows the Public Works Department to apply alternative surface treatments that create a smoother ride and hold down dust, but cost less than traditional paving. The department will create a priority list to determine which roads will come first.

The solution is far from perfect. Public works director Charles Mixson drew jeers Tuesday afternoon when he said that roads might not be surfaced for five to 10 years.

The $500,000 he can spare for the surface treatments will pay for only 5 to 6 miles of the county's 527 miles of unpaved roads.

Mixson said he'll ask the County Commission to increase the gas tax by 3 cents a gallon, even though a similar request failed last year.

Asjylyn Loder can be reached at aloder@sptimes.com.