Commissioners: Road funding not keeping up with costs

Bartholomew County Commissioners say that road funding from the state is not keeping pace with the costs, meaning less roads can be repaired each year.

Commissioners on Monday approved the agreement with INDOT to receive Community Crossing Grant funds from the state. County Engineer Danny Hollander said that the county would receive $1 million from the grant program in exchange for spending $1 million in county funds on roads projects.

Hollander said that the county would send the bids for projects to the state and if projects come back under the costs, the county could have to return some of the funds.

County Commissioners said that the grant funds are not keeping up with the costs. A mile of road repairs used to cost $50,000 and five years later now costs more than $105,000, said Commissioners President Tony London. Instead of the state providing more funds, Commissioner Larry Kleinhenz said that state legislators traditionally press on counties to establish a local wheel tax to fund repairs. Bartholomew County has resisted that measure.

Hollander said that about half of Indiana counties have a wheel tax.

The Community Crossing Grant funds come from gas tax revenues.