County looks at tightening rules for accepting new roads


Last Updated on October 26, 2015 – 7:55 PM CDT

Above: The Moore County Commissioners Court is considering revising its policy that outlines the requirements that must be met before the county will accept a road for maintenance purposes. The county discussed the roads in Anderson Acres west of Dumas, which is Commissioner Milton Pax’s, above, precinct. (File Photo)

The Moore County Commissioners Court on Monday said they don’t want to continue accepting roads not designed to hold up under heavy traffic and which burden the county with repairs, so they’re considering changing the policy that outlines what requirements must be met before they accept a road from a developer

The commissioners accepted a plat for the continued development of Anderson Acres west of Dumas and accepted a new road and the extension of an existing road, pending inspection, in the development. The developer, Ad Rem Development Inc., satisfied the county’s requirements for the road construction, but in the future, developers might have to adhere to stricter guidelines if the commissioners revise the policy.

Commissioner Lynn Cartrite said he’d like a policy that requires the developer to shoulder responsibility for a new road for two years. He said he doesn’t want the county to accept a substandard road, and if the developer is confident in the road’s construction, he shouldn’t have a problem waiting before the county takes possession of it. Judge Rowdy Rhoades said he’s concerned about large truck traffic in the developments. He said they are being driven on roads not designed to carry the weight and which don’t allow them to turn without running over and crushing culverts.

The county’s current policy for final acceptance of new roads has two requirements, one for caliche and one for blacktop. The county will take a caliche road after 24 months of its completion, providing all the requirements are met. There is no waiting period for black top. The policy requires the owner to notify the county road supervisor in writing upon completion of either project, and, in both cases, the roads will be inspected by the road supervisor and the commissioner. They’ll then notify the owner of any deficiencies within seven days of the inspection. The county will accept the road if a reinspection shows the deficiencies were corrected.

The commissioners called in County Attorney Scott Higginbotham during their hour-long discussion to discuss the wording of a revised policy, and he told them they could restrict truck weight and axles. They also could grandfather in the people who have already built homes in the division and are driving large trucks. However, Rhoades said he doesn’t want to create a policy so hard-nosed that it dissuades development.

Higginbotham told the commissioners this is a good opportunity for the commissioners to develop a policy because the issue will come up again, and they should develop one that’s consistent with the city of Dumas in case it should annex the development in the future. The commissioners will contact other commissioners in other counties to see how they accept plats and roads, which might evolve into changing the policy for accepting plats, too.

The commissioners will keep the discussion on their agendas until they complete a policy they believe will establish requirements for roads that don’t burden the county with avoidable maintenance.