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Ordinance aims to bring equity to road funding

by Wendy Crotts
Landmark reporter

Platte County Commissioners say they are trying to bring equity to road funding in the county. That's the reasoning behind the passage of an ordinance on Thursday that regulates distribution of County Aid Road Trust (CART) revenues, motor vehicle sales tax revenues and motor vehicle fee increase revenues. The ordinance prohibits distributing the CART revenues to road districts that have more money to spend per mile of road than County Road District No. 1, which is managed by the county commission.

The four special road districts in the county-Platte City, Parkville, Farley and Weston-are separate governmental entities. With passage of the ordinance, Platte City and Parkville Special Road Districts will see a reduction in funding. "We are trying to get equity in spending per mile in all of the districts. This is just the first of many moves planned," said Steve Wegner, second district county commissioner. Platte City Special Road District previously had funding of $23,807 per mile of road. The new regulation will cut that by $333 per mile, down to $23,475.

Bill Brown of the Platte City Special Road District this week declined to comment on the county's action, saying he hadn't yet had a chance to look at the new ordinance.
Parkville Special Road District will get a larger deduction. Their funding will see a reduction from $15,506 per mile down to $14,087, a decline of $1,420 per mile. Weston Special Road will continue to have $3,966 to spend per mile. Farley may receive a very slight increase above its current rate of $3,466 per mile. The county commission's road district, Road District No. 1, will benefit by $405 per mile of road. Its available funds will go from $5,698 per mile to $6,104.

According to Wegner, the state instructs the county commission to come up with regulations on how the CART money will be distributed. The money must be spent for the maintenance and building of roads as needed. At Thursday's county commission meeting, comments were invited from the public. No one spoke out on the issue. The action came after a recent proposal by Wegner to de-annex a portion of County Road District No. 1 into the Platte City and Parkville road districts met with a cool reception from road district officials and eventually was withdrawn.