A multi-year plan for improving road conditions in Marshall County will be considered in the near future.
Reduced funding levels and ailing infrastructure has prompted the Marshall County Highway Department to develop the plans – which calls for treating the roads most in need, and estimating the cost of bringing the roadways to a quality level.
Highway Department Administrator Laurie Baker says their payroll and some other expenses may affect their road funding plans.
“We did put about $1.6-million on the roads,” says Baker. “So there’s about our distribution from MVH in those two line items and then we had repairs and everything else. So I do have concerns about how we’re going to pay for it.”
Finding funding for local roadways has been a consistent problem. Last year, the Marshall County government considered applying a wheel tax to help supplement their revenue. The measure was unable to pass after failing to receive enough support to bring it to a vote.
Under the proposal presented by the Highway Department, 250 miles of roadway could be upgraded over the course of five years. A backup proposal investigates repairing 911 miles in Marshall County over 10 years. Repairs include a combination of providing gravel for certain roads while paving others. Some roads could be repaired with a chip and seal application. Costs range in the $1.8-million range, annually.
Commissioner Deb Griewank says plans right now call for further investigation of a multi-year budget, and that could affect their road plans.
“The only thing that I would ask is: let’s not necessarily look at the 10 year plan, let’s look at the five year so we can kind of match up the five to five,” says Griewank.
Financial firm Umbaugh and Associates presented to county governments, saying they can provide assistance identifying cost changes and estimate the budget impact of future plans. The Marshall County Commissioners agreed to take the proposal under advisement while awaiting a five year financial proposal from the company.
Once that is in place, the Commissioners believe they can better decide the road plan to follow.