Minnesota counties: Give us road funds we need

FAIRMONT — Martin County commissioners on Tuesday approved a resolution supporting legislation to provide necessary funding to the statewide transportation system.

The resolution does not support a particular method, with county officials saying it is the job of state lawmakers and Gov. Tim Walz to figure out how to pay for it.

County Engineer Kevin Peyman said a key factor for his department is to have consistent, reliable and adequate funding to maintain county roads. He estimates the county has a $2 million annual shortfall when it comes to highway dollars.

The resolution passed Tuesday stems from an effort by the Association of Minnesota Counties, which has asked its members to estimate their needs. The group found there is demand for more than $1 billion annually over the next 25 years just to maintain existing county roads, not taking into account possible expansion.

Walz has proposed a 20-cent hike in the per-gallon gas tax, while his Republican opponents, who control the Senate, have balked at that proposal. They favor shifting motor-vehicle related tax revenue to spending on transportation.