CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State officials are completing how the uptick in secondary road repair will be funded through the current fiscal year.
On Monday’s MetroNews ‘Talkline,’ West Virginia state Revenue Secretary Dave Hardy said officials just finished a plan Monday morning totaling $82.5 million through June 30.
“It’s never just paving,” Hardy said of the work that will be done with the money. “It’s ditching, replacing drains and then paving. The projected life on that type of work is about nine years.”
Hardy broke down where the money is coming from including $34.5 million from the existing Division of Highways (DOH) budget and $48 million coming out of the road bond projects.
The money will have to be moved around in the DOH budget from other accounts to use the $34.5 million but in order to do that legislation must be passed.
Hardy said officials already have a bill drafted and ready to be looked at when the special legislative session begins in late May.
He added that moving money around is common at this time of the year.
— MetroNews (@WVMetroNews) April 22, 2019
When asked by ‘Talkline’ host Hoppy Kercheval if the $48 million taken out of the current $592 million in road bond projects would affect any of those project’s status, Hardy said no.
“Over time, you can time those projects out and very carefully try to match those out with federal money and expropriate more value from your dollars,” he said.
As for the next fiscal year, which begins on July 1, Hardy said road officials including Secretary of Transportation Byrd White and commissioner of Highways Jimmy Wriston are already working on a plan.
He said there is still $800 million of bonds out there as the constitutional amendment allows for $1.6 billion worth of bonds. Hardy said last year there were $800 million sold.
“You have to at some point make a decision, are you going to go to the next level of the bond,” he said.
“That’s way out there. That’s probably three or four months out there. It’s all part of planning. The key is to try to maximize your federal match.”
Hardy knows that planning and the process for this formula are not simple.
“You’ve got to time up the dollars to maximize your federal matching,” he said. “You’ve got to make sure that all the dollars expended out of GO1, when you do the weighted average, that the life of those projects is 15.2 years or more.
“Then you have to consult with your bond counsel, consult with your bond advisors to make sure they are up to date all the time on what you are spending your bond funds for.”