Dear Editor,

Our roads do need repairing. However, I am very concerned the proposed increase in sales taxes for road maintenance that may be on the November 2015 ballot could be used to finance a Book Cliffs road. The current Grand County Council needs to guarantee the additional sales tax will be used to repair roads that are currently paved in Grand County, and not be used to build a new road for the extraction industry across the Book Cliffs.

The Grand County Transportation Special Service District has access to mineral lease money, and the district has shown full support of the Book Cliffs road by allocating $10,000 for an access study in 2014. The district has nearly a million dollars of mineral lease money in the bank. The district can use that money anywhere in the county, and the county council has no say in the district’s allocation. The district was formed to repair roads in the county with mineral lease money, and to allow the road department to buy equipment with state money. That does not seem to be the current primary objective of the district.

Both your sales tax dollars and mineral lease dollars should be used for the benefit of county residents, and not for the benefits of the oil and gas industry.

The road department should have sufficient funds in the near future to complete its purchase of new equipment. Grand County does not need a transportation district whose goal is to build a Book Cliffs road.