Washington County Proposes Plan to #JustFixIt for Local County Highways



Jan. 26, 2018 – Washington Co., WI – At its January 24 meeting, the Washington County Public Works Committee approved the draft 2050 Transportation Network Sustainability Plan for Washington County.  The plan provides a strategic roadmap to conduct recommended maintenance, resurfacing and reconstruction of all County Highways on a timely basis, coupled with a sufficient funding model within the confines State of Wisconsin mandated revenue limits.  The plan was named as a goal of the Washington County Board of Supervisors at its most recent strategic planning meeting in 2017.

When asked about the proposed plan, Public Works Committee Chairman John Bulawa said, “Time and again we have heard from voters that adequately funding our transportation network was one of their highest priority, #JustFixIt.  This plan leverages the County Board’s diligent efforts from Priority Based Budgeting to redirect hard earned taxpayer dollars from lower priority programs into the higher priority of ensuring ‘Effective Mobility and Reliable Infrastructure’ for the quality of life of the citizens of Washington County.”

The County Highway Department maintains 186 miles of county highway.  “A well‐maintained, reliable, and accessible transportation network has always been a goal of the Department, and it is imperative that we plan for a system of county highways that will enhance safety, ease congestion, and ensure efficient mobility well into the future. We are excited to present a plan that will not only continue the County’s tradition of a high-quality county highway system but enhance that tradition for many decades into the future,” said County Highway Commissioner Scott Schmidt.

Items of interest in the plan include the following:

·         Road, bridge and maintenance projects are presented through 2050
·         Future road improvement costs adjusted for inflation for the transportation system in the County are estimated at $143,772,460 through 2050
·         County sales tax and State/Federal revenues are the primary funding mechanism for County infrastructure maintenance
·         Although all options are presented, no new taxes or fees are proposed to offset additional funds needed within the first 10 years of the plan (2018-2028)
·         If implemented, the County’s future road system needs will be adequately funded and maintained through 2050

“As the State of Wisconsin and most local governments across the State struggle to develop solutions to adequately fund even the most basic maintenance of their respective road systems, Washington County is leading the way to #JustFixIt by putting forth a plan which would 100% fund the maintenance, resurfacing and reconstruction of all county highways for the next three decades,” said County Administrator Joshua Schoemann.  “I believe this plan will serve as a model across the State, further demonstrating how setting priorities can result in solutions to maximize the use of every taxpayer dollar we receive and meeting the expectations for essential government services.”

The full plan will be considered by the full County Board for final approval on February 13 and can be found on the County’s website.

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