Zero dollars spent on Midland precinct's roads despite court approval

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MIDLAND COUNTY -- One Midland County commissioner had miles of roadwork scheduled for his precinct back in 2014. More than four years later none of these roads have been repaired.

When the Midland County Commissioners Court met Monday, precinct three representative Luis Sánchez berated the county failing to follow through on approved road projects.

“I don’t think that it’s right. Whoever’s fault it was because apparently, we don’t know whose fault it is, but I want everyone to understand that this cannot happen any longer,” Sanchez said.

Sánchez brought forward reports showing how the county agreed to divide a $28 million dollar road bond in 2014.

But since then the nearly seven miles of repairs approved for Sánchez’s precinct haven’t been touched.

“It so happened that precinct three, which is a precinct I represent, received zero dollars and zero roads were paved during those three years,” Sánchez said. “So, my question to the court was how did this happen?”

That was the same question we put to County Judge Terry Johnson.
His answer? No idea.

“It either slipped through the cracks or it just didn’t get the attention it should have got as a group of commissioners,” Johnson said.

But precinct three’s approved roads aren’t the only things that slipped through the cracks.

While those roads awaited maintenance, about five miles of other roads did manage to get fixed without the county’s formal approval.

“If the money’s being spent and only certain people know it stops today,” Sánchez said. “We cannot do work like this in Midland County.”

While the county investigates how the road construction was mismanaged, Johnson said the county will also considering hiring a road engineer who would be charged with overseeing all road construction in the county and determining when each project moves forward.

“Whatever happened in the past has happened and I would like to see us move forward and do it as openly as we can be,” Johnson said.