MONROE - Rauch Road, one of Monroe County's surfaces most in need of repair, is having much-needed fixes put on hold again.
The Monroe County Road Commission last week told area township officials that $2 million of planned work for 2008 is being postponed because of a lack of funds.
Improvements were planned for a seven-mile stretch of the road that includes Ida, Bedford, and LaSalle townships.
The east-west roadway is rated among the county's worst.
The road commission has been meeting with county commissioners and township supervisors to determine amounts of money each township would be expected to contribute.
The county and road commission would provide about $400,000.
Commission director Ralph Lange blamed the delay on the uncertainty in availability of state funds.
"Everyone agrees that the Rauch Road project is important," he said in a statement sent to the townships.
"However, the project will have to wait for future funding. We wanted to come up with an agreed upon plan, which we did, but in the end each governmental unit is feeling the crunch of limited and declining dollars."
Talks began about 2 1/2 years ago. LaSalle and Erie townships, which cover about two miles of the roadway, would pay about $300,000. Bedford and Ida townships would each pay $750,000.
LaSalle Township Supervisor Larry Rutledge said the delay is warranted, given the financial outlook.
"Our road fund is about $150,000 a year, and this is a project that we would have to commit to for the next 10 years. There are other roads that would need maintenance, and it would leave little money for anything else," he said.
Bedford Township Supervisor Walt Wilkins agreed that the project, while needed, should be put on hold.
He said Bedford formulated its budget for road improvement projects in December, and Rauch Road was not included in the plans.
"It just came at a bad time," Mr. Wilkins said.
"We just built a brand new township hall. We have road projects on the books for next year," he said.
Nancy Tienvieri, spokesman for the commission, said improvements for Rauch Road are not off the table and the project will be revisited.
"We have talked about Rauch Road for many years," she said. "We are still moving forward with it. We are going to continue discussions to keep the project on the table. But it will not happen in 2008."
Contact Mark Reiter at
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