Town Road Budgets Running Out - WBAY

Township Road Budgets Running Out

Door County, WI -

Keeping roads safe for drivers during a record setting winter in Northeast Wisconsin came at a price. Now, townships across the area say they are stuck with a limited budget for road maintenance during the busiest traffic times of the year.

The cost of treating roads and removing snow is taking a large bite out of the budgets of townships in Door and Kewaunee Counties. Town leaders tell Action 2 News they may not be able to maintain their roads without tax payer help.

"We almost have to do two and a half to three miles of road resurfacing, or road construction every year to keep up and we aren't keeping up. We don't have the budget to keep up," said Town of Forestville Chairman Roy Englebert.

"The cost of the maintenance and the cost of labor is our big issue. We don't want to fall backwards and go to gravel roads. So we want to maintain what we have," said Town of Ahnapee Chairman Gary Paape.

Townships say after shelling out thousands of dollars to clear roads during the winter, they'll need more assistance from the State, or a referendum to keep their roads from deteriorating.

"Towns can only spend by state statute up to $5 thousand per mile, that's the maximum we can spend. If we spend over that we have to go for a referendum. The citizens have to vote to approve that," said Englebert.

In the meantime, townships are managing the money they do have to do minimum road work, but they know residents and tourists demand more.

"A nice comfortable road to ride on. They don't want pot holes and they don't want dips," said Englebert.

Town leaders tell me with the amount of farm equipment using their roads on a daily basis and the increase in traffic that they see during the tourism months, their roads will need to be addressed sooner than later.

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