It is the hope of the Marshall County Council and the Marshall County Commissioners to come together soon to address funding for county roads.
Commission President Kevin Overmyer told the county council Monday morning that the state appropriated money for INDOT but nothing for local roads for the next two years. He said representatives from the Build Indiana Council, Association of County Commissioners, and Indiana Association of Cities asked for those funds, but the request was not approved.
Overmyer said he’s been in contact with an Indiana Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) representative who has gathered numbers for a Local Option Highway User Income Tax.
“The fee is set by state statute of $25 for cars and vehicles and then on top of that there’s a wheel tax that is for trailers, semis, and other vehicles,” said Overmyer. “Pat Conner from LTAP has some information. They use information from the BMV to calculate what the revenue would entail. Hopefully, I will know soon when he can come up and make a joint presentation between the council and the commissioners.”
Overmyer believes that additional funding for local roads and streets will not come from the state government. He believes that counties will need to raise the funds themselves.
“I think we’re going to have to address it here locally whether we like it or not. We have about $800,000 to spend on roads this year, and we all know the condition of the roads. It’s just been two bad winters.”
The county highway department has a plan to repair what they can with the resources they have.
“We are out grinding roads right now. We’re going to start berming these roads to get the water off the roads. We’re starting to put a plan together. Some of these roads may not be going back to chip and seal for a year. Some of the roads that go out to the new U.S. 31 or cul de sac will get ground up, and we’ll maintain the gravel roads there. We’re going to have to do something.”
A few of the council members have ridden the county roads with the crews and know of the damage to the roads.
Commissioner Deb Griewank says the county remains under an Advisory Level travel advisory due to the condition of some of the roads.
“We had lowered it, but with this coming on we decided to move it back up to the advisory level just for the safety factor. Our roads are bad,” commented Griewank.
The crews will be working on the newly purchased pug mill this summer and the crews will do what they can to repair what they can.