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From: Linda Reichert <>
Subject: Jefferson County Record - March 1, 1917 - Volunteer Transcription part 3
Date: Sun, 22 Jan 2006 23:54:27 -0600


Volunteer transcription - Linda in MO - part 3

Jefferson County Record, Hillsboro, Mo
March 1, 1917
Vol. XIII, No. 10

[ page 1, column 3 & 4 ]

~ Hawes and Buffum Road Bills, Open Letter On The Subject ~

Mr. HACKWORTH Frankly Discusses the Merits of the Two Bills and Exposes
the Weakness of the Buffum Bill.

Hon. Frank W. BUFFUM, State Highway Commissioner, Jefferson City, Mo.
Dear Mr. Buffum,
Your circular addressed “To The Public”, commenting on House Bill No.
5, and House Bill No. 835, both of which pertain to Federal aid for
road and bridge construction, reached my desk today.

You are aware of the fact that I have taken an active interest in all
proposed road legislation presented to the Forty-ninth General
Assembly, and I have given your statement careful consideration.

Why did you not offer suggestions when House Bill No. 5 was under
consideration by the Committee on Roads and Highways?

You will remember that you were repeatedly invited, and personally
requested by the writer, to be present at any or all hearing bfore[sic]
the committee, and to offer any amendments or changes you desired.

Your first protest, however, was in the form of House Bill No. 835,
intended to replace Committee Substitute for House Bill No. 5, and was
not presented to the House until the day before House Bill No. 5 came
up for third reading and final passage.

You have asserted that House Bill No. 835 is your own personal
production, compiled without the assistance or advice of either
engineering or legal talent.

On the other hand, House Bill No. 5 is the best thought of experienced
road builders, practical engineers and legal experts from every section
of the state.

Please permit me to call your attntion[sic] to the comparative merits
of these two bills.

Both attempt to accept the $2,500,600.00 federal aid apportioned for
road purposes in Missouri.

No. 5 is in harmony with the fedral aid law, and has been approved by
[t]he Dpartment[sic] of Washington.

No. 835 positively does not meet the requirements of the federal aid
law, and, if enacted, as drawn, would lose to Missouri every dollar of
the federal aid apportionment.

No. 5 abolishes the present State Highway Department, and creates a new
department that will cost an average of $30,00[sic] annually to
maintain.

No. 835 creates a division of the present State Highway Department to
be known as the “Federal Aid Road Division, “ and maintains both
departments at an estimated cost of $70,00 annually.

No. 5 provides for a bipartisan board. It calls for a board of five
members, two Dmocrats[sic] and two Republicans, and also makaes the
Highway Commissioner president of this board, with the power to vote in
case of a tie.

Both bills derive their revenue from the same source.

No. 5 disburses the money as follows:

1st - The administrative cost of the department.

2nd - The amount necessary to meet the federal aid apportionment.

3rd - $15.00 per mile per annum for dragging or improving each mile of
inter-county seat highway in the state.

4th - $100,000.00 or more annually, state aid to counties in making
permanent improvements on lateral roads, bridges and culverts.

No. 835, in Section 6, disburses the money as follows:

1st. - The administrative cost of the department.

2nd - $250,000.00 or more annually for road dragging purposes.

3rd - $250,000.00 or more annually for state aid to counties in making
permanent road and bridge improvements.

4th - The amount necessary to meet the fderal[sic] aid apportionment.

No. 835 disburses this road drag money as provided in Session Acts
1913, pages 665, 666 and 667, which appropriates $15.00 per mile per
annum for dragging or improving intercounty seat highways. As a matter
of fact, there are only 13, 242 miles of intr-county seat highways in
the State of Missouri, so you would appropriate more money than could
possibly be used under the provisions of this act.

House Bill No. 835 calls for an annual expenditure of $570,00 before
you start a fund to meet the fedral aid apportionment. At the present
time our annual road revenue is less than $500,000.00, so I take it,
that you have no regard for the federal aid law, which will give the
State of Missouri, more than $2,500,000.00 during the next four years.

Both bills provide for the construction of not less than 3,500 miles of
roads during the next four years.

No. 5 makes definite provision for 3,500 miles or more of CONTINUOUS
State Roads, reaching into every county in the state, constructed under
plans and specifications approved by a competent State Highway
Engineer.

No. 835 also provides for not less than 3,500 miles of rural post
roads, not necessarily continuous a portion of which may be constructed
in every county in the state; selected by the state highway board of
five members, while assemble dat the county seat of each county, after
listening to the recommendations of the County Federal Aid Commission
consisting of seven members.

No. 5 apportions the road milage to the counties substantially in
proportion to their respective areas, population and mileage of county
roads, leaving the cost of such roads optional with each county.

No. 835 attempts to apportion the money in proportion to the respective
area, population and mileage of county roads. This might require a
rural county to match dollars for more than they desire, of for more
than they are able to raise, in order to get the amount of money they
would be entitled to under the provisions of this bill In further
provides that should the county fail to take advantage of their annual
apportionment, the money shall be withdrawn for them and turned over to
counties which do avail themselves.

No. 835 also requires that all work must be done by contract, thereby
eliminating the possibility of any donations of work or material

No. 5 lays out a system of high ways connecting all counties of the
State, and does not tie up any of the funds at any time; neither does
it deprive the county of the right to receive its portion of the money
at any time.

No. 835, instead of apportioning the Road Mileage, apportions the Money
each year, and provides that within four months before the end of each
year said funds shall be withdrawn from any county which fails to
provide an equal amount of money on thirty day’s notice, and said funds
shall not be apportioned to counties which do not match dollars with
the State. This apportionment would then be forever lost to the
counties which fail at that time to raise the necessary amount.

The writer will gladly meet you either publicly or privately and
discuss more fully the respective merits of these bills.

Yours very truly,
(Signed) O. W. HACKWORTH
Member of committee on roads and highways, Missouri State Legislature.


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