Serious Reductions Coming To Money For County Roads
By Alex Haglund
The Washington County Board heard from County Highway Superintendent Mitch Burdick at their regular meeting on Tuesday, October 10, that the county’s money from Motor Fuel Taxes (MFT) would be undergoing a pretty serious decrease in the future.
“I received notice, probably two weeks ago,” that changes in the state budget due to changes “in how bonds are paid out at the state level,” Washington County would be getting a cut to their MFT funding that equaled about 16% of all of that money.
MFT funds make up most of the County Highway Department’s budget. That 16% will come out to the county consolidated fund taking “about a $60,000 hit,” per year, said Burdick. The same state math that results in that cut also will be having an effect on the township road districts’ funding, also equal to about $60,000.
All told, this will result in approximately “$120,000 less funding for infrastructure in the county, as it stands,” Burdick said.
“This is on top of a $100,000 per year shortfall,” Burdick continued, saying that since 2006, the county has collected $100,000 per year at the pump in MFT funds, and in the time since then, “That’s $1,000,000 that did not go into infrastructure in Washington County.”
Unlike that shortfall though, Burdick said that this latest news will result in a permanent reduction in funding.
“I had no time to plan for this kind of adjustment to our budget,” Burdick told the board. “I believe that over the next 12 to 18 months, my department will become smaller.”
“We are on a trajectory that is not very positive,” Burdick told the board. “It’s not news that I want to bring up, but I don’t want anybody to be surprised.