Sonoma County OKs 1-year boost in rural road funding

Sonoma County supervisors Tuesday unanimously backed a one-year, $8 million increase in road funding and a search for additional tax revenue to boost long-term road maintenance.

The moves were intended to address a reconstruction backlog of nearly $1 billion and tamp down public furor over the beleaguered state of county-maintained roads.

Under a 2010 plan, about 84 percent of the 1,382-mile network has been slated for only basic repairs, meaning that portion of the system ultimately would be allowed to crumble and become gravel.

Supervisors want to avoid that scenario. The plan they endorsed Tuesday, major parts of which remain unformed, was a first step toward dealing with a funding shortfall that's developed over decades, they said.

"It's very clear that this board is dealing with a legacy problem," said Supervisor Mike McGuire. "We are just starting to dig out of the mess we're in."

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