Washington County officials met with the Secretary of Budget and Management, David Brinkley, this week to urge his support for a restoration of local HUR. For decades, local roadways were funded as one of the modes of transportation receiving 30% of HUR. This percentage has been reduced to 9.6%.
As reported by the Hagerstown Herald-Mail,
Washington County Commissioners President Terry L. Baker said the county maintains 850 miles of roads, and County Administrator Greg Murray said the loss in state revenues has meant “maintenance rather than repair” of county roadways. In a report distributed during the meeting, county officials reported the loss in the local share of highway user revenues had forced the county to reduce its overlay program by half.
Those losses also affected educational and capital funding as the county tried to fill the gap, Murray said. Since 2010, he said, county government could only contribute the yearly “maintenance of effort” — the requirement that it contribute as much per student to the school board’s yearly budget as it did the year before. “Obviously we valued education, and any time we can provide additional amounts we like to do so,” he said.
The restoration of local transportation funding has been MACo’s top priority for the past two sessions. It will likely be a top priority for the 2016 session as well.