Street and road repairs need funding

Letter to the editor:

On behalf of the McCordsville Town Council, we are appealing to our state legislators to approve a road funding bill that provides adequate and long-term revenue to our local roads and streets.

The differences between the House version of HB 1002 and the Senate version of HB 1002 are being worked out through the legislative conference committee process. We are hopeful that at the end of the General Assembly the legislation will look more like the originally introduced House version.

The top concern is addressing the differences in funding provided by the House and the Senate to meet the local need. The original House plan provided $315 million for locals. However, the local share was cut to $165 million in the Senate.

According to a Purdue report, more than 25 percent of Indiana’s local roads are rated poor. Purdue’s Local Technical Assistance Program found that it would take $775 million annually for the next 10 years to bring Indiana’s local roads and streets into fair or better condition. Hoosiers should feel confident after this session is over that funds were supplied to help repair Indiana’s failing infrastructure.

In McCordsville, like other areas of Hancock County, we benefited from the General Assembly’s enactment of the Community Crossings 50/50 grant program. We were able to repair some streets in town that were in the worst condition. But there is so much more to be done. The House version of HB 1002 included an 80/20 match for the continuation of the Community Crossings grant program, while the Senate version reduced that amount back to the 50/50. The overall amount of the grant funding was also reduced.

By providing an adequate and sustainable funding source during this legislative session, legislators will not have to face this issue again for a very long time. The time is right — we need the help of the Indiana General Assembly to help us maintain the roads and streets we have, as well as to plan for future road construction and maintenance.

We thank our legislators, Sen. Mike Crider and Speaker Brian Bosma, for their efforts on HB 1002 this session as well as for the passage of the Community Crossings Grant Program during the 2016 session, and we support their efforts to enact a viable road funding bill this session.

Larry J. Longman,

President, McCordsville Town Council