Local roads in Douglas County could cost $4.8 million | SierraSun.com

Local roads in Douglas County could cost $4.8 million

Kurt Hildebrand

An additional $4.8 million would bring the 115 miles of paved local roads in Douglas County up to industry standards, county officials said.

Of the county’s $3.79 million road budget, there is only $563,462 available for local road surface repair and reconstruction.

A workshop on local road maintenance is scheduled for 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Historic Douglas County Courthouse.

According to a report prepared by Transportation Engineering Manager Jon Erb, the county maintains 62 miles of paved regional roads, 44 miles of roads using grindings and 14 miles of paved roads.

The county budgets $3.79 million for roadwork with $1.24 million of that coming from gas taxes.

“The balance is used for operating expenses such as utilities, signs, traffic signals, fuel, tools, weed control, equipment and vehicle maintenance,” according to the report to commissioners. “To provide appropriate road surface repair and reconstruction for paved local roads and more regular maintenance on grinding and gravel roads additional funds are needed.”

Eight county employees cost $580,648 in salaries and wages and $236,531 in benefits.

Services and supplies cost $908,567.

According to the report, an additional $2.5 million would provide for additional pavement maintenance, but not reconstruction.

“Existing paved roads would continue to deteriorate,” according to the report.

Three funding options are being suggested by county officials, including a 2.5 percent utility operator fee, a half cent sales tax for road maintenance or a local road maintenance district which would add 33 cents per $100 assessed valuation to tax bills of those residents who do not live in a district or town that maintains roads.

According to the county, both the utility and sales taxes would affect all county residents, including those who are paying higher property taxes in the districts.

While neither Erb nor County Manager Larry Werner said so in their report, the local maintenance district would raise the $4.8 million they say is required to maintain roads.