St. Landry voters to decide on road work tax - KLFY News 10

St. Landry voters to decide on road work tax

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It's probably one of the worst kept secrets in Acadiana that St. Landry roads are in disrepair.

For over 20 years, parish officials have been unable to pass a tax to fix their roads.

But, St. Landry Parish President Bill Fontenot is hoping a dedicated sales tax for rural parish roads—which would be the first of its kind—passes on Oct. 19.

"This will be the first time in the history of the parish that we will have a road paving program, a $100,000,000 paving program over 15 years," says Fontenot.

If voted on, the sales tax in unincorporated areas would rise to 9.55 percent, amounting to about $7.7 million annually.  

"For the purpose of only building roads, improving roads and bridges in the parish," says Fontenot.

He says the repairs would be fueled by a $60,000,000 to $70,000,000 loan, which would be more than paid back by the revenue from the tax, leaving about $30,000,000 over for the parish.

"That $30 million will be used in this same dedication," says Fontenot.

Without the sales tax, he says, there's not much else he can do.

"We have like less than $1 million to buy materials and place on the roads," says Fontenot.  

With very little money for road repairs the parish has had to result to using asphalt patches, which residents say has only made matters worse.

"It has gotten really bad lately," says resident Mary Potier.

She has been living on an unincorporated road for over 50 years and says it's gotten so bad over the last 3 years that she has changed her route home.

"To me it's not good for your car, it's bumpy, and I don't drive on that road if I don't have to," says Potier.

Her son, David Potier, says he'd rather start paying an extra 2 percent on purchases than pay for more temporary fixes.

"Once a month, the little truck comes with a little asphalt, throws it in the holes and makes it worse. It doesn't last and it's just as bumpy and they're wasting money by doing that," says David Potier.

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