The proposed ACHD vehicle registration fee increase with no sunset clause ballot measure did not pass in this midterm election. Failing by just under 7% in Ada County, and now the Ada County Highway District Commission tells us the cutting of funds for upcoming years is only beginning.
They have already cut $5-million worth of projects for the fiscal year 2019 and $15-million for the fiscal year 2020. All of which was going to be backstopped by that extra $7.5-Million that would have been added to the highway districts budget. And in a county home to two of the fastest growing cities in America, keeping up with growth on the roadways is critical.
"Our major concern, of course, will always be maintenance because you don't want to have the assets that you have deteriorate because it just costs way more to fix them than to just maintain them," said Sara Baker, President of the ACHD Commission.
Baker also said the Commission is disappointed with the decision, as that money would have gone to accelerate projects particularly in the western part of the county where there are only two-lane roads, as well as adding sidewalks, safe routes to school, bike lanes, and ways to fight traffic congestion.
Now she says they'll be taking a closer look at the budget after maintenance costs are divided, to decide which new projects will be most important to and most feasible.
Being only one day out of the midterm election, the Commission is unsure of future steps for creating those additional funds needed in order to comply with the increased traffic on Ada roads.