BY SARAH STEPHENS, OWNER/EDITOR
For months, “Rebuild” Signs have been popping up around our area and across the state regarding the passage of the commonly called “Gas Tax” signifying that work will be done on stretches of roadways with funds from the tax. If you see a Rebuild sign on a roadway, that means that it is on the list to have improvements in the future.
But it has been interesting to hear what others assume it means. This is the point where if we were meeting in person I would write the word “ASSUME” on a chalkboard and explain what happens when you assume anything. But I am sure most of you know the outcome of that. ASS/U/ME.
Despite numerous articles and segments from various media, there still seems to be some confusion. Perhaps one of the most interesting I heard this week is this. “The signs are being put out to try and vote out the current Elmore County Commission.”
While it is an election year coming up for Commissioners, the Rebuild signs have nothing to do with the election.
The sign was actually designed by the Elmore County Commission. However, the County name at the bottom of the sign changes depending on where they are located across the state.
Below is a recent article from Commissioner Bart Mercer that hopefully will, again, explain the purpose of the signs.
From Bart Mercer, Elmore County Commissioner, District 4
Update on REBUILD Alabama Projects in Elmore County
During the 2019 session, the Alabama legislature adopted what is now known as the REBUILD Alabama Act. This act provides for additional funding to counties to resurface roads and maintain bridges. Road and bridges represent a county tax-payers largest investment and properly maintaining these assets are essential.
One accountability measure placed on using County Rebuild Alabama Funds is each county must approve a County Transportation Plan detailing the infrastructure projects REBUILD funds will be expended on. At the July 22, 2019 Elmore County Commission meeting we approved our first County Transportation Plan well in advance of the August 31 deadline. The plan can be found at www.elmoreco.org.
The REBUILD Alabama Act will provide an additional $630,000 the first year to the Elmore County Commission which will fund resurfacing and preservation projects on county-maintained roads.
The Elmore County Commission has posted signs along these same routes that will be resurfaced with REBUILD funds. This was not a requirement of the REBUILD Act, but the County Commission thought it was important for citizens to see the benefits of the passage of the REBUILD Alabama Act. This REBUILD logo seen on these signs has been very effective in communicating to citizens where these additional funds are being utilized.
The REBUILD logo and signs were actually designed by Elmore County Commission staff. Since the Commission posted the first REBUILD sign, it has gotten statewide attention and will be utilized by many local governments across Alabama in their effort to inform citizens of the benefits this additional funding will have to properly maintain their roads and bridges.
County Highway Department personnel are currently preparing the roads within the county transportation plan for their resurfacing which is anticipated to begin in late Spring to early summer of 2020.