With many staying home, local road commissions are planning for a dip in funding

Less people visiting the pump equates to less revenue
Posted at 9:34 PM, May 10, 2020

Crews are back on the streets taking care of some much-needed road construction, but like most industries they are not immune to the impact felt from coronavirus.

In Kent County alone, more than $36 million in road improvements are scheduled this year.

But with more people staying home and spending less at the pump, the Kent County Road Commission is expecting to bring in a lot less money.

“We're anticipating some reduction in revenues. Somewhere in the 7% to 10% area is our best estimate at this point,” KCRC Managing Director Steve Warren said.

Warren says most of the major projects are contracted out and right now they are working to see how the changes will affect plans.

“We could see you know some of our project schedules get moved back a little bit. We could even see a project or two get delayed until next year. So we're very much working with them in terms of how can we accommodate the project within this year's schedule and adjust as necessary so we may be adjusting project limits, we may adjust the type of improvement, so that we can continue to deliver on our program but to do it in the safest way possible,” Warren said.

In the meantime, KCRC will be adding less part-time staff this summer to cut costs.

Warren says that and the mild winter we just had will help limit the budget tightening from the reduced revenue.

“That coupled with the fact that we have been quite frankly and mission critical mode for the last few weeks, means that we haven't spent as much money, so there's some savings there,” Warren explained.

“We have limited staff but, again, most of our major work is contracted out. So we'll be working with our contractors to see what their capacity is but we're still hopeful at this point that we can complete and we've got over 200 miles of scheduled road improvements for our system this year,” he added.

Warren says he doesn’t believe this will have a major impact on them being able to make important road improvements this summer.

In the meantime, they are also looking into grants, including ones through FEMA that could potentially bring in more funding.

For a list of their scheduled projects, click here.