County to get larger pay out

Published 9:57pm Monday, April 22, 2013

The Dallas County Commission said they received, “Christmas in April this year,” as they received money from the state trust fund that was a greater amount than they usually receive.

Dallas County Probate Judge Kim Ballard told the county commission Monday, that while they usually receive somewhere around $400,000 annually from the trust, they were informed last week they would receive close to $700,000.

They plan to use the money for road improvements, a sewer project along U.S. Highway 80 East and possibly more road work equipment like tractors for cutting grass along roadways for the entire county.

“Half of it has to go to the road department for infrastructure improvements,” Ballard said, who then explained he had encouraged each commissioner of the four districts in the county to come up with a road project that was less than $50,000. In projects like improving and lifting the shoulders of Dallas County Road 349, where residents have complained and Ballard said the road is very low — almost like a swamp. Heavy rains have only made Road 349 worse this year.

“Also purchase some more road and working equipment grass season is just upon us,” Ballard said. “We have very old tractors and we need to look at that so we haven’t made a decision on how to spend all of the money.”

Commissioner Connell Towns of District 1 said the sewer project, which will cost less than $40,000 will give businesses like Broad Street Liquor Store, Mama’s Kitchen and others access to a sewer line rather than operating on a septic tank as they normally do. Towns said this new project will eventually generate revenue for the county.

“Everybody on that strip — whether it is the liquor store, Mama’s Kitchen, plantation tavern — all those folks are on septic tanks,” Towns said. “Once we do this project, it will encourage other businesses to come out there and connect to our water systems and also make more revenue with the water system at Selma Waterworks.”

Ballard said he hopes to one day complete the sewer line all the way to the bridge, but that would cost around $400,000 — something he said he would have to get extra funding for through grants.

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