County officials to discuss road maintenance this week
Published: Sunday, November 11, 2012 at 1:28 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, November 12, 2012 at 8:09 a.m.
An advocacy group pushing for increased spending on road upkeep in Sonoma County will host a public forum Wednesday night featuring two county supervisors and the county's public works director.
Supervisors Shirlee Zane and David Rabbitt will speak on road issues at the meeting from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Sally Tomatoes event center in Rohnert Park's Sonoma Mountain Village. Public Works Director Phil Demery also will speak.
The event is hosted by Save Our Sonoma Roads, which has been active on road spending since county supervisors in 2010 approved a triage plan to focus dwindling dollars on a short list of the unincorporated area's 1,382-mile network.
Only about 14 percent of the network is currently in line to receive upgrades needed to preserve pavement condition over the long term. The rest of the roads are in line only for patchwork and emergency repairs.
Public uproar this year prompted the Board of Supervisors to authorize additional road spending, including a one-time infusion $8 million from a special reserve.
The chronic shortfall in upkeep has developed over decades and been exacerbated by flat funding from state gas tax receipts, the main source of money for county road maintenance.
County supervisors have agreed that a tax increase may be required over the long term to increase local funding for road maintenance.
Wednesday's discussion will focus on options for future funding. It also will cover the Board of Supervisors' $8 million outlay.
For more information about the forum, visit the group's website at sosroads.org. The group asks that those planning to attend send a RSVP.
You can reach Staff Writer Brett Wilkison at 521-5295 or email@example.com.
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