Cupps in favor of consolidating road districts
Hendrix believes voters in districts with more money would not support consolidation
Wayne Hendrix, D-Cassville, and Matt Cupps, R-Shell Knob, both candidates vying for the job of Southern Barry County Commissioner, have differing opinions on the path Barry County should take regarding its road districts.
Barry County has 25 special road districts and one common road district, with each special road district is overseen by three elected road commissioners who serve three-year terms.
Road districts are funded by the County Aid Road Trust and a 1/2-cent sales tax. Funds are then distributed to each road district based on the formula of 60 percent for the number of road miles within the district and 40 percent on the county's total assessed valuation for that area.
"Some of the smaller and more rural road districts don't have the assessed valuation that some of the other road districts have," Hendrix said. "They don't receive as much money. Other districts do well with the finances they have.
"As we all know, the cost of chip and seal and asphalt has increased, which makes it more difficult. I don't think a consolidation will happen because it takes a vote of the people and the majority of people live in areas where they have a higher assessed valuation with better roads."
Challenger Matt Cupps believes consolidation of the road districts is a good idea.
"I believe the work done in the Shell Knob area will benefit our entire area and be a model for the state in the future," he said. "Some districts have more road miles than others. That's because when the special road districts were set up, they didn't envision where new roads would be added. I'd like to see consolidation, but keep all the road commissioners in order to have local input, to work together and share finances and resources where they are needed most. Now is the time [to consider consolidation]. I'm proud to see what the commission has already done."
Voters will determine the next Barry County Southern Commissioner in the general election on Tuesday, Nov. 8.