Rose K. Vargo McFarland
The crushing weight of infrastructure deterioration is upon us all. Headlines regarding water infrastructure have caught national attention as of late, however, we have all seen images of bridges and roads collapsing. We shake our heads and complain about our government not staying abreast of maintenance and rebuilding of our infrastructure and then we flip the channel to a “reality” program or to read the funny pages.
We cannot continue to flip the proverbial channel. It is more costly to build infrastructure than it is to repair what we have. However, funding those endeavors is an issue that must be broached. We simply cannot afford to put this issue off any longer.
After calls were placed to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Senate Transportation, Commerce, and Labor Committee, it became clear that increased funding to the maintenance and development of local roads and bridges is not a part of the current budget. To be sure, the issue is being heavily discussed but no course of action to increase funding at the local level has been selected.
I was taught that answers to every dilemma start with education. Pickaway County Farm Bureau will host a Road and Bridge Funding Educational Seminar at 6:30 p.m. April 19 at Circleville High School. The keynote speaker will be Heidi Fought of the Ohio Township Association. Melissa Betz, our County Auditor, and Chris Mullins, our County Engineer, will speak to the issue as well.
A historical overview of funding, current funding schedules and the reality of this problem will be posed by the speakers. Attendees will be asked to vet their ideas for funding at the meeting. All members of the community are encouraged to attend.
This article originally appeared on The Pickaway News Journal