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Transportation Forum lays out the problem state officials face finding funding for roads

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Local road officials lined up to hear from state officials and to make presentations on exactly how bad the road problem is and how much additional funding is needed.
Local road officials lined up to hear from state officials and to make presentations on exactly how bad the road problem is and how much additional funding is needed.

KALAMAZOO (WKZO) -- Everybody wants the roads fixed but no one wants to pay for them.

That could have been the theme for a transportation forum in Texas Township last night.

A group of local elected officials, administrators and interested citizens turned out for the forum to learn the State Dept. of Transportation needs 1.2-billion more to fix its roads, The City of Kalamazoo could use 160-million, and the county projects it could spend 53-million.

Kalamazoo County Road Commission Manager Joanne Johnson says the gas tax is bringing in less revenue because cars are burning less gas.

State Sen Tonya Schuitmaker says they are looking for ideas. She says she doesn’t think the public is ready for a hike in funding to pay for roads.

Ed Noyola with the County Road Assoc. of Michigan says there are plenty of solutions, there are just few lawmakers who have the will to blend together a package and propose it.

The Governor told us last week he will be using surplus money he finds to patch the potholes until the legislature is ready to act, but the longer they wait and the closer next year’s election gets, the less likely they are to ask voters for more money for roads.

The forum was held at The Groves near KVCC’s Texas Township Campus.

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