2011-05-27 / Columns


Money for nothing

Cherokee County Council last week gave the go-ahead to apply for a $375,000 Appalachian Regional Council grant to help pay for repairs to Commerce Drive.

If you’re not familiar with that particular road, it’s because you’ve probably never driven on it.

Commerce Drive is the road that encircles Meadow Creek Industrial Park. Council, or at least enough of them to vote to approve taking action to get some money to work on the road, believes Commerce Drive is in terrible shape. One county official said the road “won’t make it through another year.”

After we saw this quote and since that road is crucial to industrial recruiting efforts, we decided to go out there and take a look and see just how badly the road needed work. If it wouldn’t make it through another year, it was obviously dotted with potholes and crumbling away before our very eyes.

Well, guess what?

We couldn’t find anything wrong with the road.





As a matter of fact, Commerce Drive is probably among the best two or three roads in Cherokee County.

We couldn’t find a single noticeable pothole.

And we looked — closely.

We couldn’t find any crumbling asphalt or any kind of weather damage. It was a very comfortable and pleasant cruise around the industrial park.

So we simply don’t understand why the cries of a dire emergency. Unless there’s some sort of unseen potential disaster that’s about to strike of which we are not privy, we can’t see a single reason to spend the kind of money county council is talking about spending.

County officials have estimated it will cost a total of nearly $600,000 to repair Commerce Drive.

Maybe there’s another Commerce Drive at the Meadow Creek Industrial Park that we don’t know about.

The one we drove on was in great shape and does not require any immediate attention.

This is absolutely ridiculous and somebody on county council needs to point that out. Employees aren’t getting pay raises, everybody’s being asked to tighten their belts and yet council is ready to waste more than half a million dollars on something that doesn’t need to be done.

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