Just Fix It Wisconsin
Wisconsin officials push for road repair funding 6/15/2016
6/15/2016, KBJR Superior (video), Wisconsin officials are calling for more funds to repair crumbling roads across the state, as a lack of funding has led to delays for numerous construction projects.
It’s not a new problem for motorists in Wisconsin, as funding for roadway repairs has been an issue for years.
For large area counties like Douglas County, county administrator Andy Lisak says it becomes difficult to fix roadways, when you have 320 miles of streets.
“In Wisconsin we have a cap on how much we can raise our levy, it’s based on growth from that new construction, that amount has not been suffcient for us to address our county highway needs.”
With no funding available, counties are coming up with ideas on how to pay for important road repairs.
Douglas County bonded for 4.5 million dollars last year and 2.5 million this year, but Lisak says it’s not enough.
“Another option is for us to explore a local registration fee, in Wisconsin, municipalities and counties can enact a registration fee or a wheels tax, approximately up to 20 dollars a vehicle, so that’s one thing the county board might consider.”
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has some responsibility for the roadways, as the issue spreads throughout the state.
“We are certainly doing our best to deliver the highway program as cost-effectively and efficiently as possible, within the dollar amounts we get appropriated in the budget,” WisDOT Secretary Mark Gottlieb said.
According to Lisak, keeping people and shipments safe is the main reasons for pushing these actions.
Lisak added that some of original opponents of additional fees to increase funding for these projects, are now starting to reconsider as road conditions worsen.
The next county board meeting will be tomorrow night at six.