Mineral Springs officials frequently receive inquiries about the paving and maintenance of roads throughout the town.

The simple truth is: state roads are maintained by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), and private roads are, well...private. My studies have indicated that there are approximately 6.2 miles of private gravel roads in the town. The Monroe-based NCDOT engineer, Scott Cole, estimated in 2004 that the cost to bring the average private road up to state grading and right-of-way standards, and then to pave it using the lower-cost "tar and gravel" surfacing method, would be $200,000 per mile. Costs have risen to approximately $300,000 per mile since then. I am not prepared to take on a nearly $2 million roadbuilding project which is a state responsibility, and am unwilling to recommend the sort of tax increases that would be required to pay for such a project. When we asked you to sign our petition for incorporation, we never asked you to sign on to the responsibility for paving and maintaining roads. 

What if we decided to pave roads a little bit at a time? Well, that might be a possibility...except whose road would get paved first? Would we have a lottery? Would we pave my road first because I'm the mayor (no way...forget that idea!)? Perhaps there's an idea that needs study, but for now I believe that we should stick to our original promises made when we incorporated the town.

Any promises made by a candidate to pave your road should be greeted with suspicion and skepticism. Always ask: where's the money going to come from?