Jefferson County cities footing the bill for county roads

Jefferson County's financial crisis crippled cash flow for repairing roads county leaders say many of the roads are dangerous, in dire need of help. Now, the cities are left to pick up the tab. {}

"As you travel the roads as often as I do, it can really put wear and tear on your vehicle," Brenda Dial, who lives in Trussville said.

"It disturbs me how they operate down there at the county so we are pushing $3 million in infrastructure for roads and drainage that the county should be responsible for," Gene Melton, Trussville Mayor said.

The price-tag so far? $3 million for Trussville. {}Money, the mayor says could be going to many other things.

His concern: public safety. If the roads become too broken, an accident could take someone's life. {}

"They're punishing Jefferson County residents and all it's cities because they can't make the legislature give them their money back," Melton said.

Right now the county is working with a $20 million budget. It says road repairs stretch that even thinner. {}

"We can eventually go to court on this issue and decide who does what or we can sit down with the mayors and say hey, here's an agreement, here's an agreement, what can we do now?" Jefferson County Commissioner Joe Knight said. The statute allows us to do that. You don't want to wait until something happens to someone because neither entity would do anything and someone gets hurt."

Mayor Melton told us, if the commission doesn't rescend resendsolution.

"If they decline to do so and disagree with our maps and say sorry we don't agree with that, then we won't have any other choice but to file a lawsuit," Melton said.

The mayor says this Chalkville Road project should be finished in the next 2-3 weeks before school starts back. {}