Cost cutting savings made earlier this year may do little to offset the expenses incurred by the Camden County Road and Bridge Department trying to repair weather-related damage.

Cost cutting savings made earlier this year may do little to offset the expenses incurred by the Camden County Road and Bridge Department trying to repair weather-related damage.

The county has had to set aside the original plans for road repair and maintenance projects that were developed last year due to heavy springs rains and damage left behind by flash flooding.

Road and Bridge Director Lee Schuman said since April 29, the county has accumulated upwards of $500,000 in damage and debris removal. He said the county is working on a more accurate cost figure and revising projects.

The damage tally comes just as the county had made some adjustments to help free up funds for the toad and bridge department. Funding has been at a critical level for years, forcing the county to look at options to increase revenue going to road and bridge projects and maintenance.

Camden County Associate Commissioner Bev Thomas said funding for Road and Bridge has been an issue since she has been in office.

“It will probably always be an issue. Roads are extremely expensive to build and/or maintain and the County has approximately 1,000 miles of roads. We have been doing some reorganizing to try to improve efficiency and cost effectiveness,” Thomas said.

However, she said, the county is not looking at raising taxes.

“We are trying to be good stewards of the county’s money and work with what we have,” Thomas said.

The 2019 budget for R&B is the largest in Camden County history of $7.5million. That’s about $900,000 over last year’s budget, according to Camden County Associate Commissioner Don Williams. Specifically, he said, the county commission made changes to insurance and banking that has saved money.

“We’ve put those savings into road and bridge. With Camden County having more miles of road to maintain than every other county in the state except for two, road and bridge could definitely use more funding,” Williams said. “But the increase we’ve managed to put in place is a good start.”