Additional funding for local road projects could be on the way soon

Thanks to House Bill 807 in Maryland, local cities and towns like Salisbury could have more cash coming in for road projects to fix potholes, like ones on Northwood Drive, in the near future.

Salisbury Mayor Jake Day tells us the city will see an increase of about 40 percent in the near future when this bill is rectified between the house and senate and is signed by Governor Hogan.  That increase will go straight to road projects and additional sidewalks in the city.

As of now, HB 807 passed the house unanimously, with a similar version passing the senate.

We're told the bill will be going through final votes in the senate next week.  It will then go back to the house for a final approval.

Highway revenue funds were reallocated from local towns to the state in 2010 following the recession.  However, thanks to state lawmakers, some of that money may soon be coming back home, with Salisbury, Fruitland, and Wicomico County seeing a double in funding for fiscal year 2020, meaning local projects will be done sooner.

"We have already identified out for five years what we are going to pave each year, we'll just accelerate each year. We'll take a piece, forty percent in theory, of year 2020, move it into 2019," said Day.

It also means more projects can be completed overall.  County officials say new infrastructure means first responders will have to spend less time on the roadways in the future.

"The big thing with public works and the roads division, specifically, is the first responders can't get to where they're going if the roads, the bridges, the dams are out," said Westen Young, assistant director of administration for Wicomico County.

Improved roads also mean less wear and tear on your ride on these streets on your daily commute.

"Our emergency vehicles are slowed down by potholes.  There's damage and ware and tear on our vehicles and on citizens vehicles," said Day.

County officials tell us this additional funding may not only be for infrastructure, that it could go to other places in more need in the county's budget.

"Keeping our ditches clean and helping with flooding, which has been a big issue lately.  Or we could allocate it to something else in the general fund that's in need," says Young.

Categories: Local News, Maryland

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