Fentress County Road Supervisor Joey Reagan said he will take another shot at securing funding for improvement work.
Motions to approve a $1 million and $750,000 loan for the highway department both failed Monday night. Those numbers are both lower than the $1.5 million Reagan was requesting.
Reagan said he wasn’t surprised by the commission’s vote.
“Well dishearted, you know if I was asking for $10 I believe they would have voted this down,” Reagan said. “That’s my feeling.”
Reagan said he will meet with commissioners again about the capital improvement loan, but is sticking by his $1.5 million request. However, Reagan said he has come to the commission for help before Monday night, with those requests being turned down.
“The way I feel, if I stick with $1.5 million,” Reagan said. “They’ll get closer to trying to help us.”
After Reagan left the meeting, County Executive Jimmy Johnson asked commissioners if they had a number they would be willing to compromise on. Multiple commissioners agreed they wanted to help the department.
Commissioner Lester Gooding was the only commissioner to present a number to vote on after Reagan left. Gooding made a motion to offer $1 million but that failed in a 6-2 vote.
Reagan questioned the sincerity of the commission’s comments about wanting to help the highway department.
“Well, they put on a pretty good show,” Reagan said.
Reagan said after natural disaster has struck the county three years in a row, $1.5 million is justified. Reagan said he wants to upgrade roads across the county to either tar and chip or asphalt depending on the current state of the road.
“I figured $500,000 a year, that would be justified,” Reagan said. “I feel like that’s how far behind we are on our black topping.”
Reagan said the request would save money in the long run, while creating safer county roads. Reagan said his main concern is the amount of gravel roads in the county’s second district and the older roads in the fourth district.