30 May 2016

Dust Bowl

Remember last August when we were having record amounts of rain here in "sunny" Florida?

The county still has not fixed the roads.

Every couple of months they bring out a grader and some sand and fill in the pot-holes so that ambulances can get in and out.

No point in washing the cars when you don't live on a paved road.

Happily, though, they're supposed to start scraping out the old asphalt and repaving this week!

Meaning more dirt and dust for a while, but an end is in sight!

Plus this brings another joy of home ownership.

The tax levy to pay for the repairs.

"Gee, McThag, isn't that covered by your property taxes or your gas taxes?"

No, Troubleshooter, they are not!

A common thing in Florida is the subdivisions were originally completely private roads.  The developer put them in, sold the lots, built houses, then ran for the hills.  Eventually the roads needed repaired and people began to inquire of the county to come fix them.  The county, mournfully, informed the residents that since it wasn't a county road, they couldn't fix them for free, but the residents could hire the county to do it.

BUT...

If the residents agreed to give the county the roads, then they'd do a resurface and perform upkeep as part of the agreement, but when it needed resurfaced again in, say, 20 years the residents agreed to pay in the form of a tax-levy.

Because just nobody actually owns the same house for 20 years, the residents of 1983 readily agreed to the deal.  The county resurfaced the road with a 20 year surface and there it sat until undermined by the 2015 flooding.

For the next ten years our annual taxes will be about $350 more than normal to pay off our share of the work.  If you have more frontage, like say living on a corner lot, your levy is even more.

The delay in getting the paving done is apparently generated by people who don't have any pavement damage in front of their houses, but who drive past my house everyday through the damage.  They protested paying for it at all.

Happily someone at one of the county meetings suggested putting in toll-booths so that they'd only have to pay for the road they're using when they use it, with the proceeds going to us people with messed up paving out front.  That shut up the objectors.

By the way, the flooding may have actually have been caused by the county not doing their flood control and abatement job correctly and causing runoff from new construction to be channeled into existing, but poorer neighborhoods.  The lawsuits have not yet finished wending their way through the courts.  It's entirely possible that we're going to get our money back if it's decided that the county is to blame for the fail.

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