Rhodes on Roads? Here’s how Road & Bridge spends your tax money

How does the Marion County Road & Bridge Department spend your tax money?

Like any family on a fixed income, the department has only so much money to spend in a year. The department must budget before the New Year to see how it intends to spend these funds wisely. The department budgets just like you would budget for housing, auto, food, clothing, utilities, etc.

Included in the budget are salaries and benefits for employees, repair and maintenance of asphalt roads, rock for gravel roads, at least two new bridges per year, fuel, new equipment, repairs and maintenance on older equipment.

I could go on, but you get the picture.

When you finance a home or new car you are spending future income to satisfy today?s needs. Road & Bridge is in the same boat. It also has to spend future income on large-equipment purchases in the form of a lease/purchase agreement.

For 2008, the department will have a budget of $3.21 million. The breakdown is 30 percent for employee salaries and benefits, 17.3 percent to maintain asphalt roads, 0.073 percent for replacing bridges, 17.2 percent to maintain gravel roads, 15.45 percent for equipment lease, and 19.92 percent to maintain all vehicles and equipment.

These expenditures are constantly monitored in order to keep everything in focus and balance the budget.

Editor?s note: Martin Rhodes resigned Oct. 31 as director of public works for Marion County. Even so, we feel his series of articles on county roads is of public interest and we plan to complete the series.

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