ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Angelina County Commissioner Terry Pitts has only been in office for two months, but in that time he has inherited problems that date back to before he took office.
A scenic drive down Marshall Ivy Road, south of Huntington, will be interrupted by a damaged bridge crossing. Last March, the bridge was washed out in a flooding rainstorm. A year later, the bridge is still washed out. County government is hoping to fix the issue as soon as they can.
On Tuesday in Commissioner's Court, Judge Wes Suiter and all four commissioners voted to approve an application to be submitted to the Texas Department of Agriculture for a Texas Community Development Block Grant.
"The Marshall Ivy bridge project is going to be over half a million dollars before it is all done so that is way more than my budget can stand," Pitts said.
Suiter said the maximum the county can ask for under the grant is $350,000.
"It is hard for the citizens and for the mail carriers out there that sometimes have to go 15 to 20 miles out of the way to complete the route on the road," Suiter said. "It is also frustrating to us with all the hoops we have to jump through, but the light at the end of the tunnel is that we are going to get it fixed."
Pitts said the washed-out bridge is just one of several problems he is facing, and he is not different from the other commissioners with damaged roads from several flooding events over the last few years.
"Every time it rains you will find another spot that needs to be fixed," Pitts said. "It's ongoing.The commissioners would love to go out and re-oil everyone's road in one year, but it just doesn't happen."
Suiter said the bridge construction has also been slowed down by environmental questions with FEMA funding.
"There's a lot of environmental questions and concerns that we had to go back and satisfy before getting the funding," Suiter said.
The judge also stated that the county would be looking at more grants from the General Land Office.