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About $1.8M remains from sales tax

By Maura Wery

The county’s portion of the 10-year sales tax for roads and bridges is carrying about a $1.8 million overage beyond its original expiration date.

Budget and finance officer Johnette Shepek offered that estimate for county officials Monday. The 2002 county tax, proceeds of which were designated for the upkeep of county roads and bridges, technically expired Dec. 31, although voters agreed in November to extend it for an additional 10 years on slightly different terms. That new tax goes into effect April 1.

County officials said all but four road and bridge projects financed by the sales tax ballot question have been completed. The total cost for the completed projects is around $8.8 million, with uncompleted costs around $3.1 million.

Shepek said the tax collected around $14 million in revenue. She estimates that around $291,000 of additional revenue is yet to be added in, an amount that will leave the balance at the $1.8 million figure.

The county is already planning to use that leftover money to help kick start a few new projects that will be funded by the newly passed sales tax. 

Public works director Leon Hobson said the funds would go to the design of McDowell Creek Road and some other road designs. 

The commissioners complimented Hobson on his ability to keep most of the projects that the 2002 sales tax funded under budget.

Snow removal

Hobson said the last snow storm cost the county $58,678 for snow removal. He said that included $31,372 for labor costs, $19,109 for equipment costs and $8,197 for material costs. Hobson said that even with a truck experiencing transmission problems and a few other minor issues, the removal went smoothly.

“The reduced traffic which resulted from the businesses and entities being closed was extremely helpful,” Hobson said.

He said the department has spent a little over $178,000 in snow removal this year for the county.

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