Brown County’s highway fund is depleted leaving county officials no funds to give some roads the attention needed.
A proposal completed last June found 46 miles of road needed work.
“Currently, I don’t have any money to pave any roads in the county. That’s the dilemma we have because of the fact that we function strictly on gas tax and wheel tax,” says Brown County Highway Superintendent Claude “Smokey” Presseau. “And everybody knows that people are driving less, buying fewer cars.”
Presseau estimates paving runs $125,000 per mile for a two-inch top coat and lasts around 20 years. For $50,000 some of the roads could receive a chip-n-seal, but that would only last 8 years.
“We had to cut our budget $200,000 and $225,000 for this year and last year. And in the prior years I was spending approximately $350,000 to $500,000 in paving, so when we had to make cuts, that’s where it came from,” he says.
Presseau says this year they do not have any money to complete paving, so some roads will remain gravel until they can find the funds.