Jackson Co. officials: No more locally funded paving projects this year if more funding isn’t found

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JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — Locally funded Jackson County paving projects could be put on hold this year if more funding isn’t found.

For years now the Jackson County Commission has made cuts across the board to combat a nearly two million dollar budget deficit. That deficit has decreased substantially.

Now though, with other sources of funding  decreasing, like the gas tax, and no other revenue coming in the county is dealing with a very slim budget.

As a result county officials say it seems as if the county won’t be able to pave any more roads with local dollars. “For this year, we’re looking at not being able to do any roads locally,” Commission Chair Matthew Hodges says, “We’ll still do our federal projects, and I think County Road 33, is the one we’ll be working on this year and next year.”

The County Road 33 work is funded federally and so are the multiple ATRIP projects the county has in the works. Those will continue as planned.

Commissioners say they’re working to find other solutions. They say in order to pave some roads next year, more cuts would have to be made to other county services.

Commissioners say there is uncertainty with funding like the gas tax, so they say  other than cuts the one cent sales tax is another solution for paving for years to come.

“If the sales tax passes, then that’s great, and we’ll be able to push forward with that. If not then we’ll have some alternative plan with those cuts in place,” Hodges says.

County Commissioners say if cuts are the solution the amount of roads that could be paved would be small. Officials say they are working to find other solutions.

If the one cent sales tax passes through the legislature, it would have to go to the public for a vote before it could go into effect.

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