The Infrastructure committee will start learning more about their funding options for road maintenance over the next few months before they start conversations on the 2020 budget.
County Administrator Nate Ehalt made a lengthy presentation in front of the County Supervisors at their committee of the whole meeting in February.
At that meeting he stated that in the next 10 years, a lot of road work would need to be done across the county.
“This committee should start kicking the bucket around on options for transportation funding,” Ehalt told the infrastructure committee earlier this month. “We can break down options over the next three months.”
In February, Ehalt explained the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) that provides the taxpayers with knowledge and understanding of when they can expect projects will need to be done. He said county roads need to be assessed and resurfaced about every 30 years.
He stated that in the late 90s, the County saw a spike in miles of roads that were resurfaced and that those roads are once again being looked at.
“The county was flush with cash in those days,” County Chairman Don Taylor said of the mid-1990s to the early 2000s.
“It was cheaper too in those days,” Supervisor Ed Peterson added.
Ehalt continued with a graph that showed the CIP preliminary data indicated that by 2029 those roads will have to be resurfaced and the county will need to come up with the money to fund those projects.
The CIP preliminary data also showed it may cost the county almost $4 million in 2029 alone. The County is expected to pay an average of just under $2 million until 2050.
In order to pay for road maintenance and improvements, Ehalt brought a number of suggestions on how to cover that cost including a County vehicle registration fee or wheel tax, they could also borrow the funds in a short-term borrowing option.
Starting in May, the infrastructure will begin looking at options for how they can fund upcoming projects.
Some committee members speculated they could end up using a combination of the options Ehalt has laid out for them.