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Letter: County roads and maintenance

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By The Staff

I live in the Mineral Hill area and it seems we are in the land of the forgotten. Forgotten by the San Miguel County Roads Department as far as maintaining our roads and providing a solid road base for our roads. Our roads have become impassable during bad weather, i.e., rain and snow. I personally own four 4X4s and I have been stuck twice in the last month. I have also pulled out many of my neighbors who also own 4X4s or all-wheel-drive vehicles.

This is totally unacceptable and I would not be writing this letter to the editor had we, the residents of this area, had not met with the county commissioner and county Roads Department staff on numerous occasions. For years we have been promised road materials and regular maintenance for our roads. This has not transpired.

Our community has grown over the years and there are many families living in this area. A lot of them work and need to go to work daily, some of them are elderly and need to get to doctors appointments, and some are retired and would like to quit tearing up their vehicles just going to town to buy groceries. The last time any base material was applied to our roads, the residents of the area bought the material and the county did haul it and then apply it. However, I do not feel like it is up to the residents of this area to purchase road materials for the San Miguel County Roads Department.

We also have the Cabo Lucero Volunteer Fire Department in this area. With the roads in the shape they are in, at times it would be quite impossible for us to respond to house fires, wildland fires or medical emergencies. This is a very serious and dangerous situation that may cost people their homes or perhaps even their lives.

I realize that money is tight but it will become even tighter if people move out of this area because they can’t get to work, or their children can’t get to school on a regular basis. Also, if someone’s home burns down because fire equipment and personnel can’t get to them, or, someone dies because emergency medical services can’t respond due to the horrible road conditions, lawsuits could very well follow. If that scenario occurs, the cost of road materials and maintenance would likely seem like a bargain.

Roads in our area are supposed to be supported by county tax dollars, which our residents pay on an annual basis. The county powers-that-be need to realize that our roads are not a luxury, they are a necessity and are in dire need of repair!

Samuel O. Dixon

EMS Wilderness First Responder

Cabo Lucero Volunteer Fire Department

Mineral Hill