When we moved here in 2009 we were assured that once we registered for permanent residence at this address, the municipality would asphalt the dirt road to our house. Well, that did not happen. All these years we’ve humped and bumped to and from our house. The road was really bad, especially after a heavy rain shower. Gutters of up to 20 centimeters deep arose, and we really had to slalom to get to our house in a decent way.
Sometimes it was so bad that in no time we had a complete river running next to our house.
What the municipality did do was occasionally dump a truckload of sand on a pile next to the road to fill the holes. But Bine had to do that himself. Every now and then a neighbor came to help, but he also did it on his own many times. In those years, he stowed hundreds of wheelbarrows with sand and put in hours of work so that we could drive reasonably normal again for a while. Occasionally it happened that after a huge shower he had just repaired the road and that the next day we had another shower that washed away all the sand, and so he could start all over again.
The dirt road that leads to our house (and further down) is a municipal road, so you would think that the municipality would have to make sure that the road is in order. Unfortunately, the previous mayor of Žužemberk had other priorities. Occasionally Bine wrote a letter, but the answer was invariable that we, as »users« of the road, had to cough up half the costs of asphalting ourselves. The costs of asphalting would be around €8000-9000 which would mean that we had to pay at least €4000 ourselves. A few years ago, Bine once gathered all the villagers who use the road (mainly with tractors) to ask if everyone wanted to contribute. That »meeting« lead nowhere at the time because it was not possible to agree on how far down the road would be paved and who would contribute how much. So the plan was shelved again.
But a few years ago a new mayor was elected, so Bine thought it was worth asking again. This mayor said we had to let him know how much the villagers could afford together, and he would do his best to make it happen. Bine now decided to do things differently and went to each individual separately with pen and paper to ask if and how much they could contribute. In the end, we collected a nice amount, a good quarter of the total amount, and Bine went back to the mayor with that.
After a few days, the good man arrived with a contractor to have a look at the road and less than a week later the preparations started! We were really totally surprised.
When the groundwork was finished, we had to wait for the company that would lay the asphalt. And then it started snowing…….Bine and I both thought that asphalt would not come this year. But to our big surprise, a few days after the snowfall, a whole team arrived to lay asphalt. In between, the younger workers of the team even had a little snowball fight :).
And now, after more than 10 years of bumping and bobbing on a bad dirt road, we almost float up and down over the new asphalt deck! We are very happy with it and are very grateful to the mayor for his cordial approach.