Voters to decide fate of West Virginia’s road bond


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LOGAN – Voters in West Virginia will take to the polls on October 7 to have their final say on the “2017 Roads to Prosperity” road bond referendum.

Gov. Jim Justice’s proposed plan includes 600 road projects that could total as many as 48,000 jobs, bringing hope to West Virginia.

“We have a real opportunity to create real life jobs that brings employment to our state like crazy,” Justice said during the opening ceremonies of West Virginia Route 10 in Logan last week. “We can really bring people to West Virgina. Bring manufacturers, bring tourism, bring jobs and bring hope.”

If passed by voters, the state could sell billions in road bonds paid for via a gas tax increase, motor vechicles sales tax and higher DMV fees.

One misconception of the proposed bill is that it will raise taxes for residents of West Virginia. Justice said that is misleading and everything is already in place.

“There is no truth to that whatsoever,” Justice said. “Your taxes will not change in any way, shape or fashion. Everything is in place, everything is ready to go.”

Not everyone is on board with Justice’s plan, as the West Virginia Republican Party is opposing the road bond. By a vote of 99-1, the GOP executive committee voted against the plan much to the disappointment of Justice.

“It’s not good, because I think what happened there was that you had a couple of people who were standing up and all of a sudden the whole herd ran the way they were wanting to go,” Justice said. “We need everybody on the same page.”

According to Transportation Secretary Tom Smith, safety improvements could be completed in the next two-to-four years that would fix old roads, pave potholes and help build new roads.

Of the specific projects, a proposed $15 million would go toward improvements along WV 10 between US 119 and I-64 in Cabell, Lincoln and Logan Counties. The King Coal Highway would see a proposed $40 million that would construct a four-lane highway connecting Horsepen Mountain to Gilbert Creek in Mingo County.

Other projects include a proposed four-lane highway stretching from WV 16 in Wyoming County to Welch that would cost an estimated $110 million and operational improvements of approximately 69 miles of existing facilities in Logan, Mercer and Wyoming counties, carrying an estimated $15.5 million. In all the two phase project would cover 25 different counties totaling $2.9 billion.

“Oct. 7 is an important day and this is our chance,” Justice said. “It is a vision that will take us somewhere but I got to have everyone’s help. Failing to pass this would be the craziest thing we could ever do.”

History shows that West Virginians have had mixed results in regards to previous road bonds.

Of the five previous road bonds, only two (1973 and 1996) were passed while three (1981, 1984 and 1986) were rejected by the voters. Despite the mix bag Justice feels confident that the voters of West Virginia will make the right decision.

fixourroadswvVoters to decide fate of West Virginia’s road bond
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State sees spike in claims for vehicles damaged by roads

Publication: WV Gazette-Mail
Release Date: February 11 2016

By Phil Kabler

Used to be, the state Court of Claims paid out an average of 700 to 800 claims a year for vehicles damaged because of poor road conditions, Clerk of the Court Cheryle Hall said Thursday.

Last year, those claims jumped to 1,018, and this year, hit 1,250 claims, Hall said.

She said the spike in claims is directly attributable to deteriorating road conditions statewide.

“I would say the bulk of these claims are for holes in the road,” she told the Senate Finance Committee.

Once the Court of Claims bill (SB 515) passes the Legislature, the state will pay $983,000 to those 1,250 claimants, an amount Hall said is kept down because the court generally awards payment only for the claimant’s auto insurance deductible.

“That’s why there’s a lot of $250, $1,000 claims,” she said.

However, Sen. Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, suggested the law is being abused, as more drivers are made aware the state will pay for vehicle damage.

“You want to know the reason the numbers are going up? Because the message is going up,” he said.

Blair recounted an incident last summer, when he blew a tire after hitting a pothole. While changing the tire, he said a driver pulled up and told him, “You know, the state will pay for that.”

“We can’t have every pothole fixed everywhere all the time,” Blair said of the vehicle damage claims. “I can’t see how it’s a burden of the state and the taxpayers.”

However, Hall responded, “It’s the failure of the state to maintain its roads. It’s not the claimants’ fault.” West Virginians for Better Transportation, a group advocating for increased state spending on road maintenance and construction, estimates state drivers spend $400 million a year on vehicle repairs resulting from poor road conditions.

In a related matter, the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday discussed a resolution (SJR 6) for a proposed amendment to the state Constitution that, if approved by voters, would authorize the sale of up to $2 billion in state road bonds.

The resolution states that the Legislature is to enact a state tax sufficient to pay off the bonds in 25 years, but provides no specifics.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Trump, R-Morgan, lead sponsor of the resolution, said he did not have any specific taxes in mind to retire the bonds.

“My attitude on this — me personally — is I’d be willing to look at almost any reasonable option,” he said.

Among the recommendations issued last May, the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Highways proposed a $1 billion road bond issue, to be paid off by retaining tolls on the West Virginia Turnpike through 2049. Currently, the tolls are set to expire when the $300 million bond issue issued in 1989 is retired in 2019.

The resolution requires a two-thirds passage vote in both houses in order to become a ballot referendum.

Trump said he brought up the resolution, which was not acted on Thursday, to “take the temperature” of the level of interest in the Senate for pursuing bonds to fund state roads.


fixourroadswvState sees spike in claims for vehicles damaged by roads
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Senator says it’s time to address WV’s roads

Toll plazas on the West Virginia Turnpike, like this one at Sharon, could be a thing of the past in 2019, but some state leaders think West Virginia should keep the tolls going and use the money to help maintain other highways.

As the Senate Transportation Committee advanced a bill Tuesday to keep tolls on the West Virginia Turnpike (SB 397), one senator said it is well past time for the state to have a plan for transportation funding.

“Our roads are so horrible out there right now, we better come up with a comprehensive plan that looks at everything,” said Sen. Robert Plymale, D-Wayne.

Plymale said other states have taken the lead on funding their highways, including Ohio, which adopted Access Ohio, a $3 billion program to complete 41 major road projects, funded through a small increase in tolls on the Ohio Turnpike.

“We’ve got the Ohio plan. We’ve got a number of other examples of what we should be doing,” he said. “If we’re going to do this, let’s do it right and look at what Ohio and other states have done.”

Plymale noted that nothing has come of the Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Highways, which conducted an extensive study of state road funding issues, and released its recommendations last May.

That commission concluded that West Virginia needs to be spending an additional $750 million a year to adequately maintain its roadways, and an additional $380 million a year to complete proposed highway construction projects within a reasonable time.

Essentially, that would require doubling current annual spending on state highways.

The commission proposed about $141 million a year in new revenue through a variety of fee increases, and Plymale was lead sponsor of a bill last year that would have enacted those increases. The bill was never taken up.

He said Tuesday that constituents are irate that nothing is being done to fix the state’s deteriorating roadways.

“They’re pretty upset [that] there’s been no effort to look at a long-term fix for road maintenance or any new construction,” he said.

“If we’re going to diversify our economy, one of the elements you have to have is a transportation system that can move goods efficiently,” Plymale added, noting that the highway serving the new Heartland Intermodal Gateway at Prichard, U.S. 52, is in need of major upgrades.

The centerpiece of the Blue Ribbon Commission’s recommendations was a $1 billion road bond issue, to be paid by continuing tolls on the Turnpike through 2049.

Under existing law, tolls on the Turnpike are to expire in May 2019, when the $300 million road bond issued in 1989 is paid off.

The bill advanced Tuesday would keep tolls on the Turnpike after the bonds are retired in May, retaining a source of revenue that provides $85 million a year, more than 75 percent of which is paid by out-of-state travelers and trucking companies.

Committee members received copies of a resolution adopted by the Parkways Authority encouraging the Legislature to keep tolls on the Turnpike, citing the potential loss of revenue, as well as the loss of as many as 360 full- and part-time jobs.

Committee members Tuesday adopted an amendment by Sen. Bob Beach, D-Monongalia, that would cap funding for maintenance and operations of the Turnpike at $55 million a year, despite concerns raised by Brian Helmick, the Parkways Authority’s bond counsel.

Helmick advised that federal highways regulations generally require that all toll revenue be spent on the toll road or on routes that feed into the toll road.

“You can’t just, carte blanche, direct the state to use these monies,” he said.

If the bill passes the Senate, its fate in the House of Delegates is uncertain. House Roads and Transportation Chairman Marty Gearhart, R-Mercer, attended Tuesday’s meeting, but did not address the committee.

Gearhart is lead sponsor of a bill (HB 4222) that outlines the dismantling of the Parkways Authority after the Turnpike bonds are retired, and has said retaining tolls on the Turnpike would be “a broken promise to the people of Southern West Virginia.”

Also Tuesday, committee members reviewed a memorandum from West Virginia University law professor Bob Bastress for options to give state residents a discount on Turnpike tolls without violating the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Among the options: Increasing motor vehicle registration fees to cover the costs of Turnpike tolls paid by state residents.

Under the option, which Bastress estimated would increase registration fees by about $6.40 a year for passenger vehicles up to about $25 for large trucks, vehicle owners would receive a special EZ-Pass transponder that would not charge for passing through toll barriers.

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Editorial: What about the state of our state roads?

Publication: Clarksburg Exponent

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s State of the State address on Wednesday evening had a huge, gapping hole in it — or, in more appropriate terms, a gaping pothole — because he didn’t even mention addressing the State Road Fund.

By the end of this legislative session, it will have been three years since the governor first appointed the Blue-Ribbon Highway Commission to identify issues, needs and recommendations to address West Virginia’s rapidly deteriorating roads and bridges.

It has been over a year since the Blue-Ribbon Highway Commission’s findings were made public. The commission identified the need for the state Legislature to increase current funding levels by a staggering $1 billion a year just to maintain the current roads and bridges, plus finish highway projects already in progress such as Corridor H.

The scapegoat for the past two years has been Congress’ failure to approve new funding for the federal Highway Trust Fund. Congress finally did so in August, and West Virginia fared well, receiving $2.3 billion over the next five-year funding cycle.

Without that obstacle, all eyes were on Gov. Tomblin’s office to develop and propose a solution for the under-funded State Road Fund.

State residents and legislators alike fully expected that the governor would finally address this issue during his 2016 State of the State address, as well as in the 2017 fiscal-year budget proposal he delivers to both the Senate and House leadership at the conclusion of his speech.

Sadly, it didn’t occur.

The governor and Legislature have been kicking this can down the road for far too long. The problem is that, as each year passes, the condition of our state’s roads and bridges deteriorates even more, which means it will cost even more to repair or replace them as time goes on.

It appears that Gov. Tomblin, who is now in his last year in office, has decided to leave the massive problem to his successor. This will increase the cost of road and bridge repairs, and it will force state residents to absorb the costs of extensive repairs to their personal vehicles — to the tune of $333 per vehicle on average.

We implore our lawmakers to come up with a bipartisan plan during this legislative session, since no such plan has been forthcoming from the governor.

Besides fixing the state’s roads and bridges, we can think of at least two other economic benefits that would come from finding a way to fund more road maintenance and construction heading into this year’s paving season.

First, the state’s unemployment rate of 6.5 percent is the highest in the nation, and funding more road construction is an opportunity to put thousands of people to work —especially laid-off coal miners.

Second, quality highway infrastructure is a top priority for practically every business, manufacturer and job creator in determining where they are going to locate and invest in new facilities. After considering the conditions of West Virginia’s roads and the lack of a plan to fix them, most corporate executives are likely to select locations where roads are an asset, not a liability.

Let’s hope that in this election year, state legislators stand up and prove they deserve to be re-elected by showing they have the leadership necessary to address one of the state’s biggest problems — the State Road Fund.

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Coalition Unveils New Statewide Informational Campaign 

Charleston, W.Va. – West Virginia’s transportation infrastructure is facing a major funding crisis and, if left unresolved, will continue to deteriorate at an accelerated and alarming rate. That’s the message West Virginians for Better Transportation (WVBT) and its more than 300 partner groups are delivering today at the Capitol. It’s also the message of a new statewide public information campaign – “Fix Our Roads Now” – which the coalition kicked off today.

“Other states – including Kentucky, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio – have made significant upgrades to their roads and bridges in the past year,” said Carol Fulks, chair of WVBT. “We can’t keep waiting for the federal government to solve this problem. It’s time West Virginia develops a long-term solution and provides funding for it.”

The statewide campaign includes newspaper, TV, radio and billboard ads. A new website,, has been created to better educate legislators, policymakers and state residents of the funding crisis.

Senate and House legislative leaders have been invited to participate in Transportation Day, including Senate President Bill Cole (confirmed), House Speaker Tim Armstead, Senate Transportation Chair Chris Walters (confirmed) and House Transportation Chair Marty Gearheart.

Inflation, more fuel efficient cars and greater demands on the system have eroded the ability of the state Division of Highways to maintain the state’s roads, bridges and highways.

  • There is very little funding to help pay for major new construction or upgrade projects.
  • The paving cycle of state roads and highways is worsening – to nearly a 30-year cycle.
  • Driving on rough roads costs the average West Virginia motorist $333 annually in extra vehicle operating costs – a total of $400 million statewide.
  • Thousands of construction and construction-related jobs have been lost in West Virginia over the past few years.

A modern transportation system provides safe roads for the traveling public and for tourism. In addition, businesses rely on a good transportation network in order to attract customers and efficiently transport goods and products.

West Virginians for Better Transportation is a statewide coalition that works to educate West Virginians about the importance of maintaining a safe and modern transportation infrastructure. The coalition includes 300 organizations, groups, government leaders and companies that recognize and value the importance of a good surface transportation system.


"Fix Our Roads Now" Billboard

“Fix Our Roads Now” Billboard

fixourroadswvCoalition Unveils New Statewide Informational Campaign 
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Highway funding left out of Tomblin’s State of State speech

Publication: Charleston Gazette-Mail

Release date: January 14, 2016

by Phil Kabler, Statehouse Reporter

One topic was conspicuously absent in Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s State of the State address Wednesday: Funding for the state’s deteriorating highways.

“I was very disappointed,” said Jan Vineyard, president of the West Virginia Trucking Association, and a member of the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Highways and West Virginians for Better Transportation.

“I realize we’re in a tough shape economically, but I thought this was one place where we could make investments and see us get our investments back,” she said.

Mike Clowser, executive director of the state Contractors Association, said Thursday he’s optimistic the 2016 Legislature will not ignore the dire need to increase funding to maintain the state’s highways.

“We think we pretty much knew it wasn’t going to be in his speech last night,” Clowser said. “The question going forward is, what is going to be done?”

Last May, the governor’s commission, made up of legislators, state and local officials, industry and labor representatives, scholars and citizens, concluded the state needs to increase the roughly $1 billion a year it spends on highways by $750 million a year in order to adequately maintain existing roads, and by an additional $350 million a year to complete planned highways construction projects.

The commission instead recommended $114 million in year in new revenue, primarily from increased DMV fees and sales taxes on vehicle purchases, as well as a $1 billion road bond issue, to be paid off by keeping tolls on the West Virginia Turnpike through 2049.

However, those recommendations were widely panned by legislators, including House Roads and Transportation Chairman Marty Gearhart, R-Mercer, who previously called the commission’s work “a colossal failure.”

Clowser noted that not only is there no proposal for additional funding for highways, but automatic downward adjustments in the state gas tax the last two years also have cut funding by $37 million, and one of Tomblin’s budget-balancing proposals would shift another $9 million from Highways to general revenue.

Clowser said passage of a federal highways appropriations bill late last year was helpful, but only amounts to an additional $10 million a year of road funding for the state.

He said that after years of stressing the deteriorating and hazardous condition of state roads, he intends to promote highways funding this session as an economic development tool.

“The key for us right now is jobs, and the key for West Virginia is jobs,” he said.

Clowser said an infusion of highways funds would go a long way toward offsetting a multi-year decline in construction jobs in the state.

Vineyard agreed, noting, “I think it would be economic development for West Virginia to figure out a way to fund highways.”

Brent Walker, spokesman for the Department of Transportation, said highways officials were not surprised or disappointed by the omission in the State of the State address.

“Just because there wasn’t any mention of highways funding or any bills tossed out there, doesn’t mean that there won’t be discussion in the Legislature this session,” he said.

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Kercheval: Who pays for road improvements?  

Publication: WV Gazette-Mail
Release Date: August 11 2015

By Hoppy Kercheval

U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., has proposed a doubling of the 18.4-cents-per-gallon federal gas tax over the next four years to fund highway construction and transit systems.

Tax increases are anathema to most politicians for obvious reasons, and Carper’s plan carries significant sticker shock, but he deserves credit for at least proposing that those who use the roads pay for them.

Yes, we already do pay road taxes when we buy gas — 53 cents a gallon (35 cents West Virginia state tax, 18 cents federal tax) — but those taxes collected here and across the country are not keeping pace with demand. The federal Highway Trust Fund has run a deficit since 2008, largely because of increased fuel efficiency and the diminished value of the funds collected.

The federal gas tax was last raised 21 years ago, from 14 cents to 18.4 cents per gallon. According to the non-partisan Tax Foundation, “Over the last two decades, inflation has eaten away at its purchasing power. Today, the gas tax’s value is 36 percent lower than it was in 1994.”

Congress has avoided the problem like a motorist dodging a pothole. Last month, the Senate approved a House-passed bill that temporarily funds the program until October 29 by moving $8 billion out of the general fund. That was the 34th extension since 2008. The Senate did pass a long-term bill, but the House would not agree to it.

The Tax Foundation suggests the best and fairest fix is an increase in the federal gas tax with an inflation adjuster going forward. “The gas tax conforms to the user-pays principle on which the trust fund is based,” according to the Foundation.

The Hill reports that if the gas tax had been indexed for inflation when it was last raised, “drivers would be paying about 30 cents a gallon on their purchases now.”

No one likes more taxes, but one recent report suggests we’re not paying as much in gas taxes now as we think. A study last year by Michigan State University found that three-quarters of motorists questioned overestimated how much they were actually paying in gas taxes. Half said their gas taxes were more than twice the actual amount.

The researchers concluded that a general misunderstanding of gas taxes contributes to public resistance toward any increase. “Voters who substantially overestimate the magnitude of gasoline taxes are willing to pay much smaller amounts (including zero) for additional highway investment.”

The importance of infrastructure in America dates back to its origins. George Washington said in 1785 even before he was elected president, “The credit, the saving, and the convenience of this country all require that our great roads leading from one public place to another should be straightened and established by law. To me these things seem indispensably necessary.”

Just as it was 230 years ago, we understand the importance of roads, but we have yet to come to terms with having to pay for them.

Kercheval is host of Talkline, broadcast statewide by the MetroNews Radio Network from 10 a.m. to noon weekdays. Listen locally on WCHS 580 AM.

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Statehouse Beat: No movement on highways funding  

Publication: WV Gazette-Mail
Release Date: August 01 2015

By Phil Kabler

In the past, the Legislature has met monthly in the off-season to get updated on issues that are likely to come up in the next legislative session. This year, legislators are taking a summer-long siesta, so we’ll carry on without them to periodically gauge where we stand with key issues pending:

Highways funding. Release of the final version of the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Highways report in May was greeted about as enthusiastically as the release of the preliminary document in September 2013.

While most agree that state roads are in seriously bad shape because of underfunding, increasing fees, taxes and Turnpike tolls is a tough sell in an election year. (It probably won’t help that in 2011, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin vetoed a bill to raise DMV fees by $40 million a year to raise revenue for the Road Fund.)

A meeting earlier this month between Tomblin, Senate President Bill Cole, and House Speaker Tim Armstead on highways funding was inconclusive, and while additional meetings are planned, none has been scheduled.

“We’re trying to coordinate schedules to get together again,” Tomblin spokesman Chris Stadelman said. “They’re three busy men.”

That doesn’t sound like negotiations are exactly homing in on a workable funding plan.

Meanwhile, for those convinced that the state can go a long way toward closing the billion-dollar revenue gap for Highways by eliminating waste, the Legislature is about to finalize a $540,000 contract with Deliotte and Touche for a performance audit of the division.

Between now and Dec. 31, the firm is to conduct “an independent assessment of the DoH’s organizational structure, programs and operations, and determine whether they are operating effectively and efficiently in carrying out the mission of the DoH.”

Sounds a little bit like the Public Works LLC audit commissioned by then-Gov. Joe Manchin in 2005, which (according to the administration) found more than $48 million of savings, famously including $1 million a year of savings by recalibrating Highways’ salt spreaders.

My hunch is the new audit will find enough savings to cover its cost, but nowhere near enough to make a dent in the enormous funding shortfall.


The $3.04 million contract to enhance Capitol Complex perimeter security – including installing a wall and security fence around the governor’s mansion and converting most of the two parking lots north of the Culture Center into a bus turnaround – was formally awarded Friday afternoon to Wiseman Construction of Charleston.

Let the complaints about the fence, lost parking, tree removal officially begin!


Finally, regarding efforts by the West Virginia Commission on Presidential Debates to leverage the historic Kennedy-Humphrey debate as a way to help bring one of the 2016 presidential debates to Charleston, reference to a Gazette review calling the 1960 televised debate a “boring gabfest” caught the attention of the Gazette-Mail newsroom.

Naturally, longtime editor Jim Haught, who was a reporter at the time, was asked if he was the author of the commentary, which he suggested it sounded more like the work of L.T. Anderson.

Actually, it was written by George Lawless, who was the Gazetteer of the era, the title for the Gazette’s humor columnist, a distinction that was later passed on to Jim Dent and Terry Marchal. (The tradition is carried on these days [sans title] by Rick Steelhammer.)

In today’s terms, Lawless’ review might be described as snarky: “After the program –which rambled from coal mines to out(ter) space—oozed to its conclusion, there was visable [sic] disappointment along press row. Reporters were silently cheering for blood; they got strawberry ice cream instead. ‘I’ve talked worse than that to my publisher,’ one news-hawk jeered.”

Lawless also noted that JFK’s nameplate was prominent on-screen, which he speculated was necessary so the cameraman would not confuse Harvard-man Kennedy with “Yale-man W. E. Chilton, who spelled out questions sent in by Gazette readers.”

West Virginia State University history professor Billy Joe Peyton reminded me that those articles and more can be found at an excellent online exhibit, “Battleground West Virginia: Electing the President in 1960” at the Division of Culture and History’s website. (Peyton’s students researched the timeline of campaign stops for both candidates featured in the exhibit.)

I commented to Dr. Peyton that there seemed to be very little statewide newspaper coverage of the debate, and none mentioned its historical nature as one of the first-ever televised debates among presidential hopefuls.

I said it reminded me of newspaper accounts of Jackie Robinson’s first game for the Brooklyn Dodgers. In the New York Times game day story, for instance, Robinson was not mentioned until two-thirds through the article, with no acknowledgment that he had broken baseball’s color barrier.

As Peyton noted, it sometimes takes the perspective of time to appreciate historic events.

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Capito highlights benefits of transportation bill

WV Press Association

August 04 2015

NITRO, W.Va. – On Monday, August 3, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) held a press conference at the UPS Terminal in Nitro, West Virginia highlighting the Senate’s passage of a six-year transportation funding bill, known as the DRIVE Act, which is needed to fix West Virginia’s crumbling roads, bridges and highways, improve traveler safety and move goods throughout the state.

A long-term transportation bill is an important step towards improving West Virginia’s infrastructure, promoting economic growth and creating certainty needed to advance critical projects, such as Corridor H and the King Coal Highway. The DRIVE Act passed the Senate on Thursday, and the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to consider this bill following the August recess in September.

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Senator: No quick fixes for state’s roads  

Publication: MetroNews
Release Date: June 29 2015

By MetroNews Staff

CHARLESTON W.Va. — The DOH audit remains underway, and State Senator Kent Leonhardt (R-Mononglia, 02) says we can expect it some time in December.

In the meantime, Leonhardt admitted that the understaffed Division of Highways has a lot of work to do.

“I know they’re working and they are short-handed,” Sen. Leonhardt said on the MetroNews-affiliated “The Mike Queen Show” on the AJR News Network. “They’re even using some prison labor to try and get some of this done.”

Senator Leonhardt said that this audit is the next step down the path of getting the state’s roads fixed.

“When that comes out, we’ll be able to take that and use the Blue Ribbon Commission as a starting point on a conversation on how do we really address this right,” he said.

The chief concern for the Republican senator is money. He doesn’t want to begin adding new revenues until he’s certain that any inefficient spending has subsided.

“Before we try to look for new revenue sources, we want to make sure we’re using what we have properly,” said Senator Leonhardt.

Senator Leonhardt claims that the neglect of roads has been long, widespread, and isn’t an easy fix.

“We have ten years of neglect leading up to this,” he said. “We’re not going to be able to fix this overnight.”

Senator Leonhardt also stressed patience to frustrated motorists.

“Let’s face it: we haven’t put any more money, we haven’t put any more attention on the roads until we’ve reached a crisis point,” he said. “And now that we’re at a crisis point everyone wants it fixed right away.”

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