County forfeits road money

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 29, 2003

At a time when funding for important government services is at a minimum, a report from a state organization says Marengo County has forfeited more than $65,000 which was available for use.

In a newsletter from the Association of County Commissioners of Alabama, Executive Director O.H. Buddy Sharpless said eight counties in Alabama have forfeited federal money allocated for transportation improvements. Marengo County is one of the eight.

According to the report, Sharpless said Marengo County did not use $65,040.14 it had available from the Alabama Department of Transportation. That money is allocated annually from federal transportation funds and is made available to counties to be used on eligible road and bridge projects.

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The Demopolis Times attempted to contact Ken Atkins, who heads the county’s transportation department. Atkins was out of town Tuesday.

County Commissioner Freddie Armstead said he wasn’t familiar with the report, though he had skimmed over it last week.

That’s not what Sharpless said, though.

Armstead couldn’t pinpoint why the county had not used all the federally appropriated money. However, he believes the county had so much state money that had to be used to repair bridges that there weren’t enough workers to complete all the projects – thus using all the money available.