CHARLESTON, WEST VIRGINIA – Governor Tomblin’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Highways will soon release their recommendations for a better and fully funded highway system. The Commission has been studying the West Virginia Highway system as well as highway systems throughout the country for over a year. The highly anticipated draft recommendations, made public during the last Commission meeting, include massive tax increases and offer no significant cost saving measures.
“I believe that this was a well meaning group of individuals,” said Delegate Gary Howell (R-Mineral). “However, recommendations from the Commission which only increase taxes are not viable solutions for the state and its citizens. Where are the cost saving measures? Did they look at the best practices of other states? I introduced this past session one solution, HCR 64, which would allow the Department of Highways to not repave the shoulder of the road if it was in good condition. This would allow more paving of traffic lanes. This, to the best of my knowledge was never discussed. How many more ideas or solutions were never discussed?”
According to a study by the engineering firm CDM the state would need around $850 million more each year to bring the roadways to satisfactory condition.
“I recognize the need to keep our roads and infrastructure in good condition. There are many roads and bridges in Mineral County that need serious attention. I think that we need to look at everything we can do, including cost savings,” added Delegate Howell.
The Blue Ribbon Commission will hold public hearings over the next month before issuing its final recommendations to Governor Tomblin around the beginning of July.
For more information, please contact Delegate Gary Howell at (304) 340-3191 or firstname.lastname@example.org.