February 15, 2007
At the top of their list is building the Meadow Creek Parkway that would connect the 250 bypass to Rio Road, but to make this happen on time, other projects have to take the back seat.
“The state has cut transportation funding,” said Dennis Rooker, Albemarle County Supervisor.
Translation: Albemarle County has to foot the bill for local transportation improvements.
“We're having to put substantial local dollars now into transportation and that was not the deal. The deal was that the localities fund schools and the state funds transportation,” said Rooker.
With less support from Richmond, the county has decided to prioritize projects a little differently at home. Last night, the Board of Supervisors voted to cut funding on improvements to Proffit, Old Ivy, and Northern Free State roads.
They believe this will ensure construction on the Meadow Creek parkway will begin as scheduled in 2008. Which they say is important, because each year the plan is delayed; it costs the county close to $2 million in inflation expenses.
“That inflation cost alone can end up using most of our transportation allocation,” Rooker said.
To make up for what the state isn’t forking out, Rooker said the county has to look in their own back yard.
“It puts the burden of transportation improvements on property taxes,” said Rooker.
And it won't get better in years to come, because each year the county will receive less and less from the state, hurting transportation plans even more.
Improvements to Jarmans Gap Road and Georgetown Road will remain fully funded by the county along with smaller improvements to several area bridges.
Albemarle County adds about 1500 new cars to the road each year.
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