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A proposed three cent per gallon fuel increase aims to provide funding for rough secondary roads statewide

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. -- A proposal by the Association of County Commissions of Alabama aims to provide funding for fixes on secondary roads and bridges across the State.

The Association of County Commissions of Alabama voted to support a proposed three cent per gallon fuel increase. The money garnered would fund a $1.2 billion bond issue to be used solely to fix local roads and bridges across the state.

"This 1.2 billion would be divided according to the formula for the gasoline tax now, so each county would get at least ten million," Marshall County Commission Chairman James Hutcheson says, "Marshall County would get roughly 20 million dollars if it's passed and the cities would get roughly 20 percent of that, of what the counties get."

If the proposal passes through the legislature, the ACCA says it would cost the average Alabama driver a nickel a day, less than $1.50 each month.

Hutcheson says the last ATRIP funding covered only major roads. "This money here can be used on smaller roads," Hutcheson says,  "The last ATRIP project had to be used on major collectors, but this money here can be used on smaller county roads."

Locally, the money isn't there to make all of the fixes needed, and Hutcheson says something needs to be done. "When the legislature looks at it they may want to make a few changes, but right now I think the ACCA  has come up with a very good proposal," Hutcheson said.

The proposed increase would expire at the end of June following the repayment of the bonds. The proposed legislation would not allow the bond money to be used for salaries, equipment, or for construction other than the approved road projects. Periodic reporting on the projects would also be a requirement.