County looking at ways to fund storm-damaged road repairs
DOVER-FOXCROFT — Early estimates have Piscataquis County Unorganized Territory roads sustaining around $80,000 in damages from last month’s wind and rain storm, with the water washing out portions of the dirt travelways and these needing to be graded. Currently, County Manager Michael Williams is working to find the funds needed to fix the roads, as he told the county commissioners during a meeting on Tuesday morning, Jan. 16.
Williams mentioned he is awaiting word back from the treasurer on what monies are in undesignated fund accounts to see what could go toward road work to help fund the improvements in addition to remaining summer road maintenance monies. Once figures have been finalized, he would call back the county budget committee to review the plan, bring it before the commissioners, and then to the state auditor for approval.
“But I need the first step first,” Williams said as he awaits undesignated fund information.
The county manager said moving forward, a capital account to help fund road repairs after storms could be added into future budgets. “Otherwise we would fall behind if we use money out of summer maintenance,” he said with money being diverted from regularly planned projects to keep the roads in shape.
Williams reviewed the last near five years during his time as county manager and most years the region was hit by a storm causing damage to county roads.
Piscataquis County Emergency Management Agency Director Jaeme Duggan said the county has met the disaster declaration threshold. “So now it will be set to be approved for a presidential disaster declaration,” she said, with funds to be distributed in 12-18 months as is standard practice
Two weeks prior Duggan told the commissioners the county had so far reached a damage total of $2.6 million and counting.