Writer Eric Schumacher is very fortunate to live in Columbia County, one of the most affluent counties in the state. I live in Jenkins County, the county with the highest unemployment in the entire state, and one of the smallest counties.
Mr. Schumacher has access to great infrastructure and paved roads galore. They may not be what he likes, but we in Jenkins have none of that. Most of our roads are unpaved, and impassable when it rains. There are two bridges over the Ogeechee River that have been closed for two years and will not be replaced by the Georgia Department of Transportation until 2014.
This has been a real hardship for school buses and agricultural traffic for two years. There is one road in the county that needs repaving desperately. It is at the top of the list for repaving, but there is no money to do it, and there won’t be until passing of the transportation special-purpose local option sales tax that Mr. Schumacher wants to deny us.
What I suggest is that he counts his blessings as to where he lives, and thinks about the rest of us who have been suffering with no repairs for some time. The TSPLOST will give us the funds to fix everything that has been on the back burner for literally years here in Jenkins County, while we saw all that 29.9 cents gas tax go to larger, more affluent counties such as Columbia.
If you doubt what I am saying, just make a run down Ga. Highway 25 to Perkins-Greenfork Road and drive at the 55 mph from the Perkins post office to Ga. Highway 23. In many cases, you will be hard-pressed to know which is pavement and which are patches. Chuck holes abound as well, and many are getting larger by the day.
I grant everything Mr. Schumacher said about the TSPLOST may be true, but if he wants the roads, they don’t come free. Residents in Columbia County are not the only ones who will pay for it. We will, too, but perhaps finally we can reap some of the benefits instead of having all the road monies spent in Atlanta or the larger, wealthier counties.