No Solution to Rural Road Funding

After a citizens’ committee spent months looking at the issue, there is still no reasonable solution to the dilemma of how to pay for rural road maintenance (that is, maintenance other than filling potholes and snow plowing). Property owners were surveyed and unsurprisingly a majority did not want to pay an additional $130 a year for road paving. The Commissioners have retreated to the established policy of putting the responsibility on the subdivisions, saying residents can form improvement districts if they want to do something about the problem. But this is easier said than done.

The creation of an improvement district requires a majority of residents to vote in favor of it, and in this economy that is a tough sell. Any delay in creating a district will increase the cost, making the passage of a vote even less likely. Even though the Commissioners agreed that improvement districts are the only recourse they’re willing to pursue, they still want some sort of comprehensive solution to keep roads from deteriorating. This seems contradictory. Note: Some rural subdivisions don’t have a homeowner’s association, so organizing a campaign to create an improvement district would be a daunting task.

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