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Brown County Road Money Still Tight Despite Budget Increase

Brown County could receive up to $600,000 more in transportation funding next year, but that is not enough to cover all the needed road maintenance.

Brown county roads

Photo: Bill Shaw/Indiana Public Media News

Workers conduct maintenance on a road in Brown County.

Most counties will receive additional transportation dollars next year because of the state budget that was passed last month, but that extra money still will not be enough for some counties.

Brown County has many winding roads going up and down hills.  That means it also has a lot of runoff and, consequently, the roads deteriorate faster.

Brown County Highway Department Superintendent Claude Presseau says he expects to receive anywhere from $400,000 to $600,000 extra in transportation funding from the state but that will only cover repaving about 5 miles of road.

“That money doesn’t take effect until next year and we’ve got stuff we have to do this year,” he says. “As a matter fact I’ve got bids out right now for what I estimate will be about $1 million or $2 million or $3 million in road repairs for this year.”

So Brown County Administrator Michael Thompson says the county commissioners decided earlier this year to take out a loan of an additional $2 million more dollars.

“Hopefully that loan will be finalized sometime in the month of May, and we’ll be able to pay for some of our chip and seal process on the roads,” he says.

Thompson says the extra state money has not changed the commissioners’ decision to take out the loan.

Gretchen Frazee

Gretchen Frazee is a reporter/producer for WFIU and WTIU news. Prior to her current role, Frazee worked as the associate online content coordinator for WFIU/WTIU. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia where she studied multimedia journalism and anthropology. You can follow her on Twitter @gretchenfrazee.

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