Why Did the Williams County Infrastructure Measure Fail? | VideoEvan Kruegel | 11/7/2012
"I know there`s people that weren`t aware of it at all, that read it on the ballot when they were voting, and it was just something we never really got a chance to get out and promote,” said county commissioner Wayne Aberle.
The county didn`t even come up with the idea until the first week of October, leaving them just four weeks to draft a measure and place it on the ballot. Aberle says people might have assumed it was just for general funding, and not for specific road improvements.
"Specifically, what we would have used it for might have helped. People probably thought it was just going to be some money we were going to use for anything, and if we had had specific roads or projects it might have helped."
The $15 million law enforcement center was paid off with a similar half cent sales tax in just over five years. That means the failure of this measure could cost Williams County upwards of three million dollars a year. Now, the county must search for alternate ways to get the funding they need."
"We have to try to improve what we`ve got, because it`s going to take millions to get the roads back in shape even this year from what they were five years ago. With this kind of traffic it`s just about impossible to keep the roads in decent driving condition, nothing is built for this amount of traffic, and for this much truck traffic,” said Aberle.
The county will rely on large energy impact grants from the state, but that money is still months away.
"Well we won`t see a lot of money coming back to the county until after the legislature meets, and they`ll be done in the end of April, but the money wont be coming out until July or August."
County commissioners are used to dealing with a limited budget, but the infrastructure measure would have given them a much needed boost.