Mountain Express: Budget Shortfall May Turn More Blaine County Roads Into Gravel, Dirt

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Facing a deteriorating road infrastructure but an unsustainable source of revenue, Blaine County officials are saying they're prepared to let more roads return to gravel or dirt and to provide less snow removal.

The Idaho Mountain Express reports that "an increasing number of gravel raods could also become impassable for longer periods of time," according to the county's director of operations.

"We knew it was bad, but we didn't know bad it was," ops director Char Nelson told Blaine County commissioners. "We will have to inform the public. Twenty-five percent of our budget is unsustainable."

Nelson warned that local lawmakers would have to pursue local funding, "in the form of a temporarary or permanent tax levy, a bond issue, or the creation of a highway taxing district," to make up a $2 million funding shortfall.

"We need $2 million to keep service at current levels," she said. "Although roads are deteriorating."