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Jefferson County leaders, city mayors dispute responsibility for county roads

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Jefferson County leaders are at odds with several city mayors over who is responsible for repairing county roads in a city's jurisdiction. Source: Alan Collins Jefferson County leaders are at odds with several city mayors over who is responsible for repairing county roads in a city's jurisdiction. Source: Alan Collins
Several county roads in Jefferson County need repairs. Source: Alan Collins Several county roads in Jefferson County need repairs. Source: Alan Collins
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JEFFERSON COUNTY, AL (WBRC) -

Jefferson County officials and city mayors remain at odd over who should take care of county roads within city's jurisdictions.

A lot of vehicles travel on Carson Road in Fultondale. Some cars make an effort to avoid cracks and holes in the roadway. It's one of the county roads that have been turned over to Fultondale. Mayor Jim Lowery said he is not taking responsibility for it.

"That is a road the county says we are responsible for. To take care of that road would take our entire paving budget out of the city of Fultondale," Lowery said.

Other mayors in Jefferson County agree the county should be responsible, but in 2009 the Jefferson County Commission passed a resolution turning the roads over to the cities because of money troubles since the county lost its occupational tax.

State Representative John Rogers, a longtime critic of the county, plans to introduced a bill this week to help out the cities.

"It's not fair to tear up your car on these roads the county has abandoned. Therefore you cut the gas tax over a prorated share to the cities to repair the roads. That is what it does," Rogers said.

The bill will give the cities a share of the gas tax funds which goes to Jefferson County for road repairs. Rogers expects the county commission to oppose his plan.

Mayor Lowery said the county needs additional funds for roads and public safety but he supports Rogers' bill.

"There is going to be an accident on the roads if they are not maintained. That's obvious, that is going to happen," Lowery said.

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