Sandra Knight had the stage alone Tuesday night after her opponent for road superintendent, “Edd” Lewis, sent a letter to organizers of the county political forum saying he had previous commitments and would not be able to attend.
Knight, who has served as county engineer for the past 18 years, talked about the challenges of running the department with the price of supplies going up and revenue decreasing.
“The budget for the road department is $6.5 million and about 50 percent is funded by property tax and state aid. The other 50 percent comes from the gas tax,” she said.
Knight pointed out revenues from the gas tax have been decreasing somewhat due to the onset of more fuel-efficient vehicles such as hybrid and electric cars.
“They’re not buying fuels, but they’re sure using the roads,” she said.
With the cost of materials on the rise, Knight said she would be looking for “new cost-efficient and cost-effective technologies” to perform the duties of the road department.
She noted the price of asphalt has almost tripled within the last 16 years.
“In 1998, you could figure your road would be paved every seven or eight years,” Knight said. “With the cost of asphalt now, we’re on a 35 miles per year cycle, which would be [a cycle of] once every 22 years.”
Knight cited her years of education and experience in civil engineering, construction and transportation as reasons to elect her as the person responsible for the county’s 1,253 roads.