The Lawrence County Quorum Court met on Monday evening at the Lawrence County Courthouse with the main topic being the condition of the county roads.

Judge Gary Barnhill invited residents to participate in an open discussion about the condition of the roads and the lack of finances available.

Several dozen residents attended, asking questions and making suggestions to the Judge and Quorum Court.

Judge Barnhill discussed the shortfall of revenue for the current year and openly discussed ways to generate revenue.

Justice Latham suggested moving $200,000 in funding to the road department to complete this year.

Judge Barnhill suggested to those in attendance that an additional 1/2 to 1 cent county sales tax could be proposed to voters to cover the shortfall of revenue and increasing expenses. Judge Barnhill suggested this was the only way to correct and properly maintain the county roads.

Millage increases were discussed for a brief time, but the increase of the millage to the county road department from 2 mil to 3 mil would not cover the amount needed.

Questions and comments from those in attendance included mostly questions about the lack of funding so early in the physical year and the displeasure with the county road department’s performance. Residents ask about getting the county grader operators better training therefore resulting in better roads. Judge Barnhill replied by stating he’d look into it.

Several in attendance informed the court and the Judge that any gravel placed on their roads would simply be pushed into the ditches by county graders.

Road crowning or lack there of was a vocal concern of several in attendance. Flooding of roads on the east side of the county in the 600’s and 700’s was brought up by several property owners while others from the west side of the county described a lack of maintenance, clogged drain tiles and culverts causing even more erosion and simply no gravel on the roads, again leading to even further damage.

One resident stated his concern saying “every candidate runs for office saying they will fix the roads”, he continued saying “he doubts they’ll be fixed.”

When asked about any federal grants that may be available, the Judge responded saying none were available.

Judge Barnhill admitted that the $200,000 was not a permanent fix to the road department’s financial problems. The Judge asked those in attendance to consider an additional sales tax which would have to be voted on by residents. Most were openly opposed to any type of sales tax increase.

After addressing complaints, questions and suggestions for over an hour Judge Barnhill suggested the Quorum Court meeting move to other business.