County news # 2Jason Peters, the Marshall County Highway Superintendent was granted approval from the Commissioners to approach the County Council next week with a request for additional funding for road repairs.

In reviewing the funding availabilities for 2021 Peters said the fund balance in Motor Vehicle Highway (MVH) is $3,197,248 including the US 31 turnover money of $1.4 million which is figured into the balance of the fund.  The 2021 beginning fund balance is $1.7 million and the estimated revenue from the Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF) is $3.3 million and the estimated fund for 2021 would be approximately $5.1 million.

Peters said, “If you cut out the turn-over money and the balance, based just upon the budget number, we’re estimated to bring in $3.3 million.  The cost for operations is right around $2.4 million.  Out of that the restricted in $1.6 and MVH would have $1.6 so we would actually have a shortfall of $807,000.”  The superintendent wanted to commissioners to be aware of the affects of the restricted fund.

Peters said with the estimated for 2021 not including the $1.4 turnover money they will be about $5.1 million.  Peters asked for the commissioner’s support to go to the County Council and ask for an additional $500,000 for this season.  And the commissioners were supportive of the plan.

In Local Roads and Streets (LRS) the fund balance is a $668,000. The DLGF estimates this year’s revenue to be $607,000 and the estimated funds for 2021 would be approximately $1.2 million and he only budgeted $650,000 leaving $625,000.  Peters asked for the commissioner’s support to seek an additional appropriation of $300,000 for this year’s road plan and they were supportive of his plan.

Peters said with the additional of $800,000 he plans to work on some of the county’s 125 miles of gravel roads.  He told the commissioners, “People call in and complain about their dirt road and really they are gravel, but they’ve been neglected throughout the years.”  He wants to use some of the funds this spring to begin reconstruction of some of them.

The Highway Superintendent will approach the County Council at their next meeting on Monday, March 8th.  He will discuss his plans to request additional funds later in the season as work is completed and the weather stays nice.  Peters is hopeful the council will approve additional funding to keep County Highway employees busy as long as the weather is conducive to work.