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Ennis Daily News

Road funding needs a look

Ellis County’s method of funding road maintenance projects seems to leave something to be desired. Any casual observer can confirm the need for a measured and careful approach to backing up the county’s transportation infrastructure needs, and it might be time to take a look at one of the irksome details of the way the formula is derived.
Ennis is a part of two districts — District 1 covers northern parts of the city and District 2 covers southern areas, as well as some areas to the east and west. District 2, the county’s largest by population, also receives the least capital per mile of road. The current formula awards money based on the former demographic instead of taking into account the sheer amount of roadway that districts must maintain.
It is perplexing that the situation, while aimed at providing as much money as possible for each individual resident of a district, could end up measuring out as a problem in terms of how much road a district contains, but so is the situation.
Another factor to take into consideration is the volume of traffic that roads in the district carry in a given day. Some roads in outlying areas see only a handful of motorists driving on them in a day, while some arteries see more than a thousand vehicles in the same length of time.
We propose that the funding formula take all of these details into consideration, instead of just population numbers. That would increase the variables to consider when distributing the capital available to the district for roadwork, but it could also create a more equitable and even distribution of funding to cover areas where roads need the most attention. Our county continuously works to provide the best possible environment for growth and development based on the resources available to it, but another look at how it divides up its road dollars is in order. The county’s current road study, commissioned with the intent of creating a road plan that provides for future upkeep and infrastructure adequacy, will hopefully take all of these details into consideration.

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Posted by on Aug 25 2009. Filed under Editorials. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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