HERNANDO, MS - Hernando has a pothole problem. It's roads are old and falling apart, and Mississippi motorists are tired of dealing with dips, drops and ditches while they drive. The city's budget didn't include much money to repair them until now. Hernando's dug up the dollars to straighten up its streets.
"I've lived here for six years and the road has never been good," says Nancy Stapor.
"A lot of our development happened about eight years ago," says Mayor Chip Johnson. "Roads tend to start failing after about six to eight years so we have a lot of roads that are going to fail at one time. That's starting to happen to us and we're doing the best we can to keep up with that."
It takes money. Money which Johnson says the city hasn't had, until now.
"We had budgeted zero dollars last year," he says. "We did zero in overlays."
No repaving means the roads only worsened over the last year. Drivers are letting city leaders know about it.
"We just bombard them with phone calls and emails and tell them please fix our road," says Tawnette Baker.
The city's listening now and relief is in sight. The town's new budget includes $150,000 for road work and they're looking at ways to increase that number.
"We're just trying to figure out where to get that money, so we made a few cuts in other parts of budget upped that to a little over $200,000," Johnson tells abc24.com. "We could probably spend a millions dollars on our roads tomorrow and not waste any of it."
There's only enough money to fix eight or nine roads, but for drivers, a little bit of work is better than none.
"I think that would eliminate a lot of the problems," says Stapor.
The city hasn't decided which roads will be fixed first. The roads are being evaluated soon.
"We'll just start spending money on the worst roads, and pave until we run out of money," says Johnson.
The city has money for road work this year because it cut nine employee positions. They retired, and weren't replaced. Their salaries are now being used on the roads.