Limestone County, Ala. (WHNT) – During the commission meeting Monday morning District 4 Commissioner Ben Harrison made a proposal to change the way gas tax funds are distributed in Limestone County. Harrison says gas tax revenue is currently split equally between Limestone County’s 4 districts, irrespective of how many road miles a commissioner must maintain. Harrison’s plan arises in part from what he calls inequities as a result of 2011’s redistricting.
“After the census of 2010 my road mileage responsibility went up 25 percent,” Harrison explains. “And mainly because of the population growth in district 2.”
Harrison says on August 15, 2011, the Limestone County Commission adopted a resolution that re-drew the district lines for the 2012 election cycle based upon the 2010 census data. The intent of the redistricting was, of course, to equalize the population of the districts. Harrison says as a consequence of the population shift occurring between 2000 and 2010, the district lines had to be dramatically altered to maintain equal representation. Harrison contends the impact this had on county-maintained road miles within districts 2 and 4 were significant while the impact on districts 1 and 3, he says, were less dramatic. Harrison says, for example, district 4’s road mile increased 25%, while district 2’s road miles decreased 32%. As a result district 4 has 330 road miles, more than double the 155 road miles of district 2.
Among the roads that were added to District 4 were roads between U.S. 72 and Elk River, and south of New Cut Road. Harrison argues the topography of these river roads, along with their condition, makes these roads more difficult and costly to maintain. Harrison believes the commission should shift expenses between districts without reallocating funds in a proportionate measure.
Despite the data Harrison presented showing an increase of road mileage responsibility in his district and a decrease in others, Harrison’s motion did not receive a second.
“I thought it was a fair way to do it. Obviously the others didn’t think so. So we just need to sit down in a meeting and decide how we’re going to address this.”
2 Limestone County Commission seats will be up for vote Tuesday. Ben Harrison says after new commissioners have gotten settled in, he hopes to revisit the conversation in a work session.