State cuts thousands in county road funds
Union County is losing thousands of dollars for local highway maintenance work.
The loss of funding comes as the result of cuts made by the State of Illinois.
The matter was reported at last week's regular meeting of the Union County Board of Commissioners.
The meeting was Friday morning, Sept. 22, at the Union County Courthouse in Jonesboro.
Union County Highway Department engineer Kevin Grammer said that news about the funding cuts came from the Illinois Department of Transportation.
The cuts will impact the needy township and consolidated county lines in the budget.
Grammer said he anticipates that Union County will face a 50 percent reduction in the funding, which amounts to about $78,000 during the current fiscal year. The county had received no forewarning from the state about the cuts.
The money would have been earmarked maintenance work, such as the oil and chipping of local roads.
In terms of the impact on personnel, Grammer said the highway department will work to preserve existing positions; however, the filling of any vacancies is unlikely.
As of last week, Grammer said the highway department was about halfway through oil and chipping work which had been planned throughout Union County.
That work, he said, will cease and desist. Some maintenance work simply won't be done
During discussion with county board members about the situation, Grammer referred to the state action as "death by a thousand cuts."
He said that the state is, in essence, saddling local officials with the costs of road repairs.
Grammer said that he and other Illinois county highway engineers planned to be contacting state legislators to voice their concerns about the funding cuts. Several county board members said they support Grammer.