MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A series of public meetings are set to get underway this week regarding the future of highway funding in West Virginia.
The governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Highways scheduled the nine meetings set in locations across the state in hopes of getting ideas from the public on how to fund the roads.
“Our revenues have been flat to make improvements to our system and we are going to need more funding,” said state Transportation Secretary Paul Mattox.
Construction jobs on the state’s highways are now funded by the state Road Fund, which is made up of revenues from the state gasoline tax. The fund has been stagnant for the last few years and fewer federal highway dollars have been earmarked for West Virginia.
The first meeting is scheduled for Thursday at the Holiday Inn in Martinsburg and Mattox said they expect good things from them.
“There’s a lot of times that the public has some great ideas that we implement and we’re hopeful that we hear some of those good ideas that people may have that they will share with us at these public meetings,” he said.
Once the meetings are conducted, all the comments will be collected and put together in a final report that will be submitted to Governor Earl Ray Tomblin in late summer or early fall.
Mattox said he is confident they will find extra funding.
“I know that we are not going to get it all at once but I do think that we will get some additional funding that will help us make improvements to the highway system in West Virginia,” Mattox said.
The meeting schedule is as follows:
Thurs., July 11, Kearneysville Comfort Suites, 1937 Short Road, Kearneysville 4 p.m.-7 p.m.
Tues., July 16, Chief Logan Lodge, Hotel and Conference Center, 1000 Conference Center Drive, Logan 4 p.m.-7 p.m.
Thurs., July 18, MU Alumni Hall, 519 John Marshall Drive, Huntington 4 p.m.-7 p.m.
Tues., July 30, Oglebay Resort, 465 Oglebay Drive, Wheeling 4 p.m.-7 p.m.
Thurs., Aug. 1, Mineral Wells, Comfort Suites, 167 Elizabeth Pike, Mineral Wells 4 p.m.-7 p.m.
Thurs., Aug. 8, Fairmont, Robert H. Mollohan Research Center, 1000 Galiher Drive, Fairmont 4 p.m.-7 p.m.
Mon., Aug. 12, Princeton Days Inn, 347 Meadowfield Lane, Princeton 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Mon., Aug. 12, Beckley, Mountaineer Conference Center, 2120 Harper Road, Beckley 4 p.m.-7 p.m.
Thurs., Aug. 15, Elkins Days Inn, 1200 Harrison Avenue, Elkins 4 p.m.-7 p.m.