Getting Answers: St. Landry Parish rural road improvements 

Posted at 5:58 PM, Apr 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-23 18:58:42-04

KATC is getting answers about road repairs in Saint Landry Parish.

It’s been five years since voters approved a sales tax to fund the Smooth Ride Home Program. Some drivers, however, say some of those repairs aren’t coming soon enough.

If you ever drive down Curley’s Road in Sunset, you’ll be in for a bumpy ride. It’s something that’s familiar to Steven Hamlett.

"I got to call at least once a month to the public works department to come out and do maintenance on the road," Hamlett said. "After it rains we get deep potholes and washboard sections." 

He thought the Parish would have fixed the road by now after voters approved a 2-cent sales tax in 2013 to repair rural roads.

Parish President Bill Fontenot says work has been done. Public works crews have repaired and repaved more than 300 miles of roads, with another 500 miles of roads awaiting work.

However, Fontenot says it takes time and money to make those repairs.

"We can’t pave them all at one time because it’s based on sales tax accumulation over a 15 year period," Fontenot said. "We will be paying off this sales tax. You borrow money based on the tax and pay it off over 15 years. Then we will be free of that bond of the $65 million that this tax this allowed us to borrow."

That means some people may have to wait until the very end of the program before their roads get fixed.

"I understand as people pay this tax now they’re being anxious," Fontenot said. "Some of them are coming to meetings wondering when it’s their road that’s going to be paved. It may not be until the 14th or 15th year, unfortunately, but that is the program. "