The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation is applauding the passage of a new law that helps towns with road repair and maintenance.
Governor Scott Walker signed Senate Bill 118 into law on November 11. The legislation was authored by Senator Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon) and Representative Edward Brooks (R-Reedsburg). It removes the annual limit placed on towns when it comes to the amount they can budget for material and equipment for the construction and maintenance of highways.
Previous to this new law’s passage, this limit was the product of $5,000 multiplied by the miles of highway under the town’s jurisdiction. The limit could only be exceeded through authorization by the town meeting or by referendum during a town election.
“This is a small, but important, first step in addressing transportation funding in rural Wisconsin,” said Jim Holte, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation President. “The condition of Wisconsin’s town roads is quickly deteriorating and needed investments are not keeping up.”
“Tens of billions of dollars in milk and other agricultural commodities move over these roads to get our farmers’ goods to market,” Holte added. “It is critical that our rural transportation network gets the necessary construction and maintenance dollars to keep Wisconsin’s $88 billion farm economy strong and growing.”
The new law, known as Act 105, provides uniformity by bringing Wisconsin’s towns in line with other municipal governments regarding their authority to exceed annual amounts allotted for road repair.
Senate Bill 118, which was supported by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, cleared the State Senate and Assembly by voice votes.