Tammy Mutasa, NBC 5 Mesquite Reporter
As city budgets are being approved in North Texas, some residents in Mesquite are concerned not enough money is going to improve roads.
As city budgets around North Texas are in the process of getting finalized, some residents in Mesquite are concerned not enough money is going towards a bumpy problem: the roads.
Jeremy Pitts is a landlord on what the city ranks as one of the worst residential streets in Mesquite.
"I've been to third world countries, it doesn't look much different here,” said Pitts. "The property values continually go down, people don't want to live here when they hit the roof of their car when they go down the street."
Even as residents say the worst streets need reconstruction, smaller scale road repairs in the city could be put off for years because of budget concerns.
City leaders said they need $300 million to repair or replace all of their crumbling roads.
"Some of the roads are kind of like being on a roller coaster. It's kind of ups and downs, bumps, potholes—dings,” said Carolyn Thompson.
Officials first hoped to set aside an extra one million dollars for repairs each year, but when the budget was finalized this month, that amount had to be cut in half.
"I understand that there may not be money in the budget but there are ways we can adjust. It's like in a household, there may not be money for something, but you figure out a way to adjust something else to make money available,” said Thompson.
There are about 120 miles of streets which need reconstruction in the city. Leaders say at least 60 percent of the roads are at least 40 years old.
"By the time we get them all fixed, no one will be here,” said Pitts.
"Mesquite is similar to many other cities in the Metroplex. We are looking to use our tax dollars best we can to enhance the infrastructure,” said Wayne Larson with the City of Mesquite. “As the 8th largest city in the region with four major highways running through our community… Mesquite's local roadways take on a lot of use.”
While the city is trying to get county money to repair some roads, it could be a while before drivers enjoy a smoother ride.