Last Tuesday, Buena Vista County Engineer Jon Ites informed the Supervisors that the County would be eligible to receive some Time-21 funding this year for road maintenance and bridge repair. However, he says he feels the Iowa Legislation passed about a year and a half ago is too restrictive. Like many counties across Iowa he says there is continually aging roads and bridges and wishes the funds available could be used more flexibly.
"About 70 percent of our system is local roads - technically that money can't be used on local roads other than bridges," says Ites. Currently legislation says the funds can be spent on the construction and maintenance of bridges and the construction or maintenance of farm to market roads, which are major designated routes to transport grain to market, Ites says.
Farm to Market roads are typically paved roads and Ites said of the 250 miles of paved County roads, he says about 235 of those are farm to market. He said about 90 percent of the paved roads are classified as farm to market roads.
However, says there are over 700 miles in the County that aren't eligible for the funding. "We'd like to be able to use it wherever it's needed," says Ites. Ites said they will be required to document how the funds are spent in an annual report.
Ites says this is the first year the County is eligible for the Time-21 funds. He said the Time-21 legislation was passed about a year and a half ago but funding sources were not available during the first year.