Transportation Secretary Meets With Allegany and Washington Counties – Funding Scarce, New Financing Mechanisms Needed

Maryland Transportation Secretary Beverly Swaim-Staley recently met with State and local officials from Washington and Allegany counties as a part of the Department’s annual transportation tour.  Officials, prepared to discuss local transportation projects,  heard the same message – “Funding is scarce and new ways of funding roads projects are needed.”

As reported by the Herald Mail:

“I think just sustaining what we have is probably the best that we can do in the current funding environment,” Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary Beverley K. Swaim-Staley told the Washington County Board of Commissioners, state legislators and a Hagerstown city councilman during her annual transportation tour visit to the county.

As reported by the CumberlandTimes-News:

The secretary said a different kind of conversation was needed between the state and localities. The new way can’t rely on the historic means of huge federal funding packages and the state and localities need to look at public-private partnerships and other innovative funding ideas, she said.

This approach raised concerns from one State legislator in attendance:

That idea concerned Sen. George Edwards, who wanted to make sure the state didn’t adopt a one-size-fits-all approach.

“Public-private partnerships are a lot easier to get done in some parts of the state than others,” Edwards said, noting the tough economic conditions in Allegany County. He urged the secretary to consider the lack of corporate sponsors in the region and said he hoped that situation wouldn’t negatively impact projects in the region.

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