New ALDOT agreement a win for Baldwin County

By The Gulf Coast Media Editorial Board
Posted 11/16/16

We applaud the decision from three of our county commissioners this week in moving forward with gathering funding to fix our state roads issues around the county.

Commissioners Skip Gruber, Chris …

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New ALDOT agreement a win for Baldwin County

Posted

We applaud the decision from three of our county commissioners this week in moving forward with gathering funding to fix our state roads issues around the county.

Commissioners Skip Gruber, Chris Elliott and Tucker Dorsey deserve praise for voting to push this proposal that will see $126 million in needed infrastructure improvements for Highway 31, Highway 181 and Highway 180.

These roads represent some of the biggest headaches for Baldwin County residents and visitors alike and the construction plans made will be beneficial for years to come.

We’re finally holding the state accountable for promises they’ve made to us about these roads and we now have a working mechanism to get these jobs done.

As an added bonus, not only are we getting $55 million in BP funds to help with these projects – the state has also committed an additional $35.8 million in funds to help spur construction.

And because of diligent work done by some of our commissioners, the $35.8 million match that makes up the county’s burden on this project will likely be sourced from Restore Council funds – so there will not be any further burden on Baldwin taxpayers.

Commissioner Frank Burt voted against the proposal, saying that the county had made similar agreements with ALDOT in the past only to be left standing at the alter after ALDOT ran off with the money.

To go into an agreement like this with hostility doesn’t exactly seem to help our argument here and could actually make relations between Baldwin County and ALDOT more frosty than they already are.

By approaching the state with good faith and calmly explaining our issues, we’re more likely to get cooperation than continuing to throw bombs and try to bring up a past we can’t change now.

While we can understand Burt’s frustrations from the past, the newly drafted agreement gives Baldwin County more ironclad language that would allow the county to jump out on the agreement if they see ALDOT not living up to their side of the bargain.

This proposal is the best chance we’ve got to fix many of our problem roads, so we’re thankful a majority of the commission had their eyes on the future with this decision.