Economics, safety, and environmental issues should be among considerations in determining whether a new road should be built or an old one extended, county leaders say.
Moreover, township boards want a major role in deciding whether a new road is warranted. Townships are generally responsible for most rural road maintenance.
Township board members and county planners met to discuss those issues with the Douglas County Commission on Wednesday night. Last year the county received several requests from rural landowners to have roads extended or built to aid new residential development.
In December, Commissioners Bob Johnson, Jere McElhaney and Charles Jones imposed a moratorium on new roads and road extensions. They said a set of criteria needed to be developed on which to base decisions for establishing new roads.
A list of criteria was proposed following meetings involving the townships, Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Director Scott McCullough, County Planning Resource Coordinator Linda Finger and County Engineer Keith Browning.
"If you are considering a new road, townships would like to have a say in it," Finger said.
Commissioners agreed. Commissioners and township leaders also said an economic analysis should be done to determine the cost of a new road and its tax revenue benefits.
No action was taken to formally adopt the new road criteria. It will be discussed at a later date. The moratorium on new roads and extensions is in effect through June. Commissioners have said they hope to end the moratorium much sooner.