The Richmond Register

April 23, 2013

State funds reduced for county road repair

By Sarah Hogsed
Register News Writer

RICHMOND — Madison Fiscal Court learned at Tuesday’s meeting that state funds for resurfacing and patching county roads will be reduced in the coming fiscal year.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s representative for District 7, Brett Blair, gave a presentation about the funds and the cabinet’s recommendations for which state and county roads should be repaired with the money.

Each year the state calculates the amount of money that should be allotted to working on rural secondary state roads in each county. Revenue for the roadwork is generated by the state gasoline tax.

The allocation for each county is based on a number of factors, including rural population and road mileage, Blair said.

For Fiscal Year 2013-14, which starts July 1, the state has allotted nearly $1.4 million for the Rural Secondary Road Program in Madison County.

In addition to money for work on rural state roads, the fiscal court is given funds for county roadwork called “flex project funds.” This year the amount was 15 percent of the initial allotment plus any unspent funds from previous years, which came to $277,128.

Last year, Madison County received $332,351 in flex funds, and magistrates funneled a large portion of that back into work on state roads instead of county roads, Blair noted.

For the past four years, the flex funds were calculated at 20 percent for all counties, but this year, the cabinet switched to a formula that took into account which counties needed more work on their county roads. Madison County roads were ranked as needing less work than other counties’ roads, hence the percentage reduction.

There was “a bit of a furor over this,” Blair said of the reaction statewide to the formula change.

“The good (counties) are getting penalized to take care of the bad (counties)” when it came to keeping up with roadwork, Judge/Executive Kent Clark pointed out.

Blair asked the fiscal court to make a decision on whether to use the flex funds on county roads or put it back into the state Rural Secondary Road program.

Clark said because there have been cuts to the county road department budget in the current year, he is recommends that the flex funds be used for county roads.

Magistrates Roger Barger and Greg King voted for that option, and the motion passed. Magistrates Billy Ray Hughes and Larry Combs were absent.

State transportation cabinet engineers also evaluate state and county roads to make recommendations for resurfacing and patching.

The state’s recommendations for roadwork, along with project cost, are:

• Walnut Meadow Road, 3.8 miles, $350,000

• KY 1016, 3.4 miles, $330,000

• Crooksville Road, 1.4 miles, $140,000

• Scaffold Cane Road, 2.3 miles, $225,000.

The state recommendations for county roadwork is 1.2 miles of Dreyfus Road ($112,000) and 1 mile of Barnes Mill Road ($91,000).

In other business, the fiscal court:

• Unanimously voted to allow Clark to authorize all contracts related to the architecture and engineering of the new emergency operations center. The work contract was awarded last month to the Lexington firm of Murphy Graves.

• Heard a report from County Attorney Marc Robbins that he was reviewing the bids received for the the CPE phone system and field and hospital decon projects, all of which are related to the county emergency management agency. Director Carl Richards would next review the bids.

• Unanimously voted to award the contract for the Scaffold Cane dump site cleanup to Rick Childers. He submitted one of the three bids, and his was the lowest at $34,300.

• Approved the hiring of Shaun Ahlgren as a masonry expert. He will make $11 an hour.

Sarah Hogsed can be reached at shogsed@richmondregister.com or 624-6694.