Monday, March 27, 2017
HERE & THERE COLUMN
Roads & Bridges Funding?
Is there a crisis in keeping our local roads, bridges and culverts repaired and in good condition?
Highway superintendents and transportation advocates across our state have called for an increase to state funding for the above.
A headline in our paper a few weeks back read, "Fremont Town Wants To Return Roads To The County."
Seems the town wants to give back or allow the county to again maintain County roads 131, 132 and 134 due to the fact that the county roads are in such poor repair and the town equipment presently used to maintain these roads is getting torn up.
The Town is getting about $38,000 from the county to maintain these roads.
Fremont board members contacted the Sullivan County Commissioner of Public Works who informed them he put into the county legislature for $9 million but only got $4 million to repair the roads.
It was the general opinion of town board members that it was not economically sound to "pound our equipment on roads we don't need to be on."
This scenario runs deeper then just this crisis in the Town of Fremont and Sullivan County and it's not clear where the money is going to come from to fix our highway system.
We are faced with ongoing deterioration of decades-old roads and bridges and funds have failed to keep up with the need to maintain existing infrastructure and to increase capacity.
Can't really put the blame on the county or town because the cash shortfall in only getting worse.
Part of the overall problem stems from the increase in traffic borne by a highway system that is some instances is 50-years or older and funding at the state level also has failed to keep up with the increased cost of repair and new construction.
The state gasoline tax comes into play here but many legislators decided to oppose any increase in taxation.
Talk about being caught between a rock and hard place this overall road and bridge repair problem needs attention........sound economical thinking required.