Wicomico Council Tours Rural Roads, Reflecting Dried-Up State Funds

The Wicomico County Council, with several of its members elected during the time since the state enacted steep cutbacks to county Highway User Revenues, took a tour of rural roadways to witness the decline in road quality due to lack of maintenance funding.

From coverage on the WBOC website:

What’s a better way to see the bumps, divots, and pot holes in the county roads than to take a tour and see them first-hand. That’s exactly what the Wicomico County Council did Wednesday afternoon.

County Councilman Joe Holloway organized a bus tour of rural roads on the east side of Wicomico County.

“Several years ago, we got cut $7 million a year in roads money from the state. And we have lost our roads funding basically,” Holloway told WBOC on Wednesday. “So we’re trying to pick out what needs to be fixed the most.”

With limited roads funding available, there’s no timetable as to when or where repairs will come to some of the roads council members toured on Wednesday. But at least for now, council members know what they’re dealing with on the east side of Wicomico County. A bus tour of the west side is set to be scheduled in the near future. A notice will be posted on the Wicomico County website.

MACo adopted restoring local road funding as its top legislative initiative for 2016 – with the chilling narrative underscoring the troubled state of local road funding for the last 7 years:

Local Transportation Funding Restoration – Restoring local Highway User Revenues (HUR) has been a MACo priority since the local share was slashed during recession-driven budgets. The former $555 million share has been drastically cut back to $167 million – with a mere $26 million to be shared among 23 county governments. The cumulative loss of local roadway investment has topped $2 billion – compromising roadway safety and betraying taxpayer expectations. With the recent expansion of transportation revenues and additional funds recently being allocated for roads and bridges, it is now time for local governments to again play a more significant role in the State’s transportation funding plan. MACo advocates for the restoration of local transportation funding.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties