Road commissions struggle with snow costs

BARRY COUNTY (WZZM) -- All of the snow Michigan has seen this winter is putting a financial strain on road commissions across the state.

Gov. Rick Snyder unveiled his budget plan Wednesday to help fund Michigan Roads. With 83 counties in the state, there's concern that new state funding for roads will not go very far.

"Budget wise, it's very extreme and getting very difficult for us," says Brad Lamberg,managing director of the Barry CountyRoad Commission.

Along with thewhite, Lamberg is seeing red-- a budget deficit, with 6 weeks of winter still left. Barry County's road budget is $900,000 for the year, yet with all the snow, it's already spent $1.1 million.

Under Act 51, whatever road money is passed, MDOT gets 40% of the funding, the 83 Road Commissions another 40 percent, and the cities the final 20 percent.

Lamberg, who also the vice president of County Road Association of Michigan, says the money is a fraction of what counties need. MDOT gets funds for about 9,700 miles of roads, while the counties have nearly ten times the amount -- 90,000 miles --but receive the same percentage of money.

"It's clear that it's the state's direction to leave local communities to fend for themselves, and raise their own money through county wide mileages," says Lamberg.

He says it's something most of the public doesn't know, and that it's a funding issue that will affect people in their own hometowns.


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