Archive for Friday, March 5, 2010

Parkinson’s budget cuts mean halt to $86 million in state road projects

Governor Mark Parkinson announced more budget cuts for the state Friday. Parkinson said he wants to avoid cuts to education funding, among other things.

March 5, 2010


As Gov. Mark Parkinson uses money from the state highway fund to help fill an expanding financial pothole in the state’s operating budget, the Kansas Department of Transportation is hitting the brakes on $86 million in maintenance projects.

Among them are jobs that would have been contracted during the next few months in Douglas, Johnson, Leavenworth and Shawnee counties.

“Kansas citizens, communities and businesses won’t get the kind of services they’ve gotten in the past,” KDOT Secretary Deb Miller said, noting that her department’s construction spending in real dollars had sunken to levels below those in the 1970s. “Considering the winter that we’ve had, Kansans are going to see rougher pavement and more potholes, and we’re going to be very limited in our ability to address them.”

Among projects suspended Friday by Miller:

• $6.4 million total for patching and marking concrete on Interstate 470, from Interstate 70 east to 21st Street in Topeka; and on I-70 from Danbury Lane to Adams Trafficway, including ramps.

• $211,000 to install a cable median along U.S. Highway 75 in North Topeka, north from just north of Soldier Creek to 35th Street.

• $6.4 million to patch, resurface and otherwise rehabilitate Interstate 435 from its junction with Kansas Highway 10 north to 87th Street, and from the interchange with I-35 east to Antioch.

• $1 million to resurface a 4.6-mile stretch of K-10 in Johnson County, east from near the east side of Kansas Highway 7.

• $5,974 to apply a chip seal to Kansas Highway 32, from U.S. Highway 24 to the Douglas/Leavenworth County line, then another $508,089 to extend the work 15 miles east to Bonner Springs.

• $2.4 million to add a thin asphalt surface to U.S. 24 at Kansas Highway 16 east to the Leavenworth/Wyandotte County line.

• $418,000 to add a thin asphalt surface to U.S. Highway 73, from the Wyandotte/Leavenworth County line north to Gillman Road.

• $66,454 to seal cracks along Kansas Highway 192, from the Jefferson/Leavenworth County line east to U.S. 73.


Bobo Fleming 8 years, 2 months ago

of course this is nuts. All of this "defered maintenace" will have to be fixed sometime and at greater cost.

gccs14r 8 years, 2 months ago

Maybe if we'd built these roads properly in the first place, they wouldn't be falling apart now.

somebodynew 8 years, 2 months ago

"Finally making good choices. Kansas has over spent on roads for years and inadequately funded retirements and building maintenance. If roads were such a priority, the gas tax should be raised."

BUT, they haven't been, and still won't, fund retirements and maintenance !!! This is just money not being spent, not re-directed. In fact in this article (I think) they are also not putting in the required amount for a State disability fund.

63BC 8 years, 2 months ago

This is maintenance in roads. We're going to have to spend this money later.

There is nothing in these "cuts" that will reduce aggregate public expenditure, only delay it for the next administration.

What a horribly irresponsible decision by Parkinson.

$14 billion plus all funds budget and he can't find $86 million in spending to cut? Ridiculous.

gccs14r 8 years, 2 months ago

The Legislature has a hand in this, too.

Bob_Keeshan 8 years, 2 months ago

63BC (anonymous) says…

$14 billion plus all funds budget and he can't find $86 million in spending to cut? Ridiculous.

Actually, he's already cut $1 billion from the rest of the budget. Much of that has been your so-called "aggregate."

But there must be $86 million more, right?

Face it - just because $14 billion sounds like a big number doesn't mean it is bloated up with waste. If it were, then you would have called some out by now.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 2 months ago

Putting public education ahead of roadways is a fine decision...

emptymind 8 years, 2 months ago

Bad choice. Driving along you fall into one of the unavoidable chunkholes because you can't get over to miss either lose a wheel, strut, or by reaction, swerve into the car next to you, flipping them over and possibly causing serious injury. We enjoy the luxury of nice highways and should expect to pay for them. It ain't going to be any cheaper down the line

purplesage 8 years, 2 months ago

I wasn't aware that the roads and highways were in "great shape' - as I heard the governor say in a new clip on KPR. Some of the streets in Lawrence are so chewed up from the winter they'd be 50% patch material if all that was done is to throw asphalt in the holes. And he says the sec. of transportation says this isn't a matter of public safety?

Let's ask the question of where state money goes? Some school districts get $9 - $10K per pupil FTE. A teacher has maybe 20 kids in a class and draws $40 - $50K in salary. Add the "hidden" costs to employers and it might take $65 - $70K to employ that person and pay associated benefits and costs. But the state is chipping in $180K plus. Don't tell me it goes to books - my grand kids often have classes without books. And that does not include things like free/reduced lunch monies, transportation, special education reimubsements, etc.. But in tight times, KSHAA adds another round to the high school football playoffs ( a few years ago). Federal requirements for engines run the cost of a new school bus up to about $70K (from the high $50's just a few years ago). It consumes 70 - 80% of our state budget. I know they've been hit hard, and are closing schools, but I am not sure the real cost consuming components are getting a close.look. Anything that is that big of a piece of the pie can't be exempt.

Matt Needham 8 years, 2 months ago

Goodbye education. Goodbye modern roads. Hello third world living!

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 2 months ago

Republicans in the legislature couldn't give a lick about education and social services.

These, cuts, however, affect spending that republicans cherish, transportation and roads.

We will see tax increases emanating from the republican legislature post haste.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.