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County protects road projects by appropriating road fund balance

In an effort to protect road projects against a future state raid of transportation funding, the County of San Diego appropriated $12 million from the county’s road fund balance for projects in various stages of planning, design, and construction.

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 October 14 to establish $12 million of appropriations from the road fund balance into the Detailed Works Program of the county’s Department of Public Works and to designate that money for contingency purposes for planning, review, design, and construction phases of road construction projects currently underway.

“It’s basically to keep our ongoing projects funded just in case any of our sources of funding get impacted,” said Department of Public Works director John Snyder. “We thought it was a prudent step to establish a contingency fund to protect the ongoing projects.”

During the state’s budget deliberation, lawmakers considered taking local streets and roads funds before eventually approving a budget which delays payments of funds to local governments until late in the 2009-2010 fiscal year.

The establishment of appropriations for projects under way in some phase ensures that the county won’t need to interrupt projects in the middle of a specific phase.

“We want to keep them moving,” Snyder said. “This is a way to keep the projects moving.”

The funding will ensure completion of that particular phase, although funding was not appropriated for subsequent phases.

The County of San Diego has more than 50 road resurfacing, rehabilitation, sidewalk, bridge, and roadway drainage projects in various stages of planning, design, and construction.

The Department of Public Works will return to the Board of Supervisors for approval of a transfer of appropriations if the funding will be used for the construction of specific projects.


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