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As I See It

La Crosse County wisely abandons road spending plan



The problems with Wisconsin’s roads have been well documented. State funding has failed to keep up with the need for repairs. In La Crosse County, some $90 million in road work neds has been identified. Many Wisconsin counties have taken matters into their own hands and adopted wheel taxes to raise money for road work. La Crosse county considered going another route, pulling $1 million from county reserves to pay to fix our roads. Wisely, the La Crosse County Board of Supervisors rejected that idea. Supervisors have also put off, for now, the idea of a special sales tax on tourism related businesses which could raise millions for road work. Pilfering from reserve funds could have threatened the county’s bond rating. But more importantly, funding road repair and construction is a function of state government. No matter how much La Crosse County were to spend on roads, it wouldn’t be enough to address all the needs. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has hinted that his new budget for next year will include more flexibility for local municipalities to choose how to spend the state’s road money. Let’s see what the Governor’s budget looks like, and how it will impact road needs in our area, before we start spending more money we may not have to.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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