SHADY SHORES — Members of a road committee for the town of Shady Shores suggested in a report to officials that the Town Council should begin annually budgeting for road repairs and maintenance to improve road conditions.
According to a town engineer’s road survey, the town has identified more than $5 million in road and drainage repairs and improvements. The council, which is expected to take action on the committee’s recommendation next month, asked committee members to suggest how the Town Council should prioritize road and drainage issues.
The 10-member road committee suggested the town focus on road repairs first, even though drainage issues came in a close second.
“We went back and forth with which one to address first because some of us felt that they [were] equally as important,” committee member Judith Halaszyn said.
Halaszyn said the committee members finally agreed to make road improvements the top priority after they agreed road quality could worsen if it is not addressed soon. However, the committee, which was formed earlier this year, still told the council that drainage issues should not be ignored.
Drainage issues include areas around the town where water does not drain properly and areas where water sits stationary. Committee members said they are leaving it up to the council to decide which roads the town will repair first.
The town allocated more than $600,000 in its budget this year to road repair and maintenance. The town pulled more than $480,000 from its reserves to help pay for the roads and balance the budget.
Town officials went through an evaluation of all of its roads using the town’s road engineer and a contractor consultant to come up with a preliminary financial estimate of what it would take to make all town roads function properly with the correct maintenance and refurbishing.
In the engineer’s report, officials identified more than 30 roads that needed to be reconstructed and about six roads needing minor patch work. The engineer’s report also included several drainage issues along 11 roads.
Not all of the road and drainage issues can be fixed in one budget year without a substantial tax increase, town officials said. According to the engineer’s report, the total cost to repair every road and drainage issue is more than $5 million.
Mayor Jerry Williams said the aggressive road repairs are a priority for the town and will take several years to complete. Williams said the Town Council would take action on the road committee’s recommendations during the next council meeting in December.
Williams also said the town could have a few options to help complete the repairs and improvements, which include partnering with the county or forming interlocal agreements with neighboring cities to help reduce costs.
Williams said the town has one such agreement with Lake Dallas to get a section of road shared by the two municipalities repaired. In addition, the town also shares the cost of repairs on Dobbs Road with Corinth.
County officials also offered to help the town repair its roads, but because the county is responsible for road maintenance in unincorporated areas, the town would be placed on a long waiting list.
Williams said that if the town does decide to partner with the county, roadwork might not begin in the spring, which is what town officials are aiming for.
JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .