The Corte Road project cooperation between the City of Daphne and Baldwin County hit a snag Tuesday, as the county commission voted not to appropriate $200,000 to the city in light of what commissioners said was the city not living up to its agreement by not paying their portion of the costs for the project.
County Engineer Joey Nunnally said the county has already assisted the project by acquiring the necessary rights of way for the construction and upgrades to begin. Nunnally added that the $200,000 appropriation was a part of the original agreement between Baldwin County and Daphne, but that the proposal before the commission to vote on was to hold that money and make it part of Daphne’s payment back to the county for costs incurred.
“What we’re proposing is we transfer that back to Highway to offset the costs highway has already spent in the right of way acquisition phase,” Nunnally said.
Several commissioners stated opposition to the idea. Commission Chairman Frank burt said he couldn’t see himself voting for the appropriation.
“I certainly can’t be supportive of this change now because it was signed, sealed and delivered under a commitment that it would be done,” Burt said.
Commissioner Tucker Dorsey said he felt the city needed to live up to their end of the bargain.
“We have an agreement with Daphne for a completed road over there,” Dorsey said. “We committed $200,000 to get a completed product. If they didn’t budget the correct amount of money, how do we get the assurance that we’re going to get a completed road? Daphne has to follow through with what they said they would do. Their budget problems are not our problems.”
Commissioner Chris Elliott said his main concern was the county living up to its end of the deal.
“We’re going to subtract this much from what they owe us and then they’ll owe us the difference,” Elliott said. “My concern is making sure that the commission is living up to what we agreed to do.”
“I’m not in favor of this,” Dorsey said. “They owe us $386,000 for right of way acquisition and that’s not negotiable. We’ll hold our $200,000 in a checking account until they are ready to build this road.”
The commission voted 3-1 to deny the appropriation, with Elliott voting in favor.