The poor conditions of some roads in Pauls Valley's cemetery and even a few local streets were at the center of a recent city council discussion.
For local folks like Joan Cooper it can literally be an off-road trip when going out to Mount Olivet Cemetery on the south side of PV to visit her parents' graves.
Cooper took her concerns right to council members during a regular meeting last week.
“Some of the roads out there are so bad that in your car you have go to off the road because they're so washed out,” Cooper said.
“I welcome you council members to go out there and see for yourselves. It's washed out really bad.
“It's not just since all these rains that we've had this problem. It goes back a few years. These roads have been bad for several years.”
City Manager James Frizell says the plan is to use gravel and rock to get the cemetery’s roads in better shape at some point. The key is for the weather to stay dry.
“We have a lot of things that need to get done, and we have this on our agenda,” Frizell said.
“We want to work with our constituents when we can. We hope people will not get out there when it rains. It will take us time to get up to speed. We are going to do some work out there. They will be improved.
“If it stays dry it’s our plan to get started by the end of the month.”
According to Frizell, another factor is the main focus for city crews has been to keep the burial sites maintained and looking good.
“Right now their focus has been on mowing the sites and keeping them clean. It’s a constant battle. We don’t make any excuses.”
Other concerns were also expressed about the conditions of many city streets and even the beautification process to clean up local properties not being maintained.
Susie Dehart, a member of the PV Beautification Commission, says many streets in town are in bad condition and need to be addressed.
“I have a concern for the conditions and lack of proper maintenance of our city streets,” Dehart said. “I’ve been contacted by several people telling me about their stories.
“Ultimately it comes down to the city manager. If we can’t hold his feet to the fire we have more serious issues.”
Frizell’s response is the high cost of upgrading roads makes it difficult to address many of the streets in a timely fashion.
“It just costs a lot of money to do roads,” he said. “We have a lot of roads in Pauls Valley, and we have to save up money to do a few of them at a time.”
Parts of Diffee, South Walnut and Oak streets could be on the next list of streets to get some attention.
“I do it on a daily basis and I complain about it,” Mayor Jocelyn Rushing said about driving the local streets looking for improvement.
As for beautification, council member Eric Smith says the frustration is still there when it comes to cleaning up some local homes.
“I was on the commission, and some of the properties on the list when I was there are still there. I don’t have answers for that,” Smith said.
“We’ve reached a ground swell on this and something must be done,” said Vice Mayor Bonnie Meisel. “It’s frustrating for us too.”