Wisconsin towns create gravel roads amid tight state budget
NORTHFIELD, Wis. — Officials in small Wisconsin towns say construction costs and budget cuts in the state government have caused them to convert their blacktop roads to gravel.
Wisconsin Public Radio reports that state funding for local governments in the form of municipal aid has been cut over the last 10 years as local transportation funding has remained roughly flat. The state has also limited how much towns can raise from local property taxes — restrictions that grew stricter under Republican Gov. Scott Walker.
The governor has proposed increasing local transportation aid by 8.5 percent in the next budget. According to the Wisconsin Towns Association, it would translate to about $10,000 for the average town, enough for road maintenance, but not much else.
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