County hosting “Just Fix It” transportation forum

In an effort to raise greater awareness and support for maintaining our state transportation system, Sheboygan County will be hosting a “Turnout for Transportation” public forum Thursday, Sept. 29 at the Sheboygan County Health and Human Services Building (Conference Room 372), 1011 N. Eighth St. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the meeting will begin at 7 p.m.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Wisconsin’s roads are in bad shape, ranking Wisconsin the third-worst in the nation for road conditions. The Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance and American Society of Civil Engineers have also independently reported Wisconsin’s transportation system is badly deteriorating.

Many Wisconsin drivers know this all too well. A recent study showed drivers in Milwaukee and Madison alone are spending more than $600 per year in vehicle repairs. In Sheboygan County, work on State 23 continues to be delayed, and sadly, many residents and visitors know all too well how dangerous it can be.

Turnout for Transportation is part of the Transportation Development Association’s “Just Fix It” campaign, which started last year. The purpose of the campaign is to facilitate a statewide dialogue about the condition of Wisconsin’s infrastructure and the impact to Wisconsin residents and businesses.

This unprecedented, statewide event will involve meetings in 71 counties. County, city, town and village officials, members of the business community and the public are invited to attend.

This forum will provide an overview of the governor’s proposed transportation budget, discussion on transportation costs and trends, and officials will share specific examples of transportation challenges.

Area state legislators are also planning to participate. The forum is being hosted by Sheboygan County, and speakers will include County Board Chairman Tom Wegner, County Administrator Adam Payne, County Transportation Director Greg Schnell, Sheboygan Mayor Mike Vandersteen, city of Sheboygan Director of Public Works David Biebel, Plymouth Mayor Don Pohlman, Elkhart Lake Village President Alan Rudnick, Wisconsin Towns Association Unit Chairman William Goehring, Lima Town Chairman Charles Born and Scott Town Chairman Randy Narbatovics.

“Our transportation system is a key to Wisconsin’s economy, job growth and our quality of life” said Wegner. “We must work together to establish a sustainable solution for our transportation challenges. Although the governor’s recent transportation proposal redirects more funds to local municipalities, which is appreciated, overall, the proposed transportation budget is a decrease from the prior two-year period. As a result, some major projects will continue to be delayed, including State 23 for at least another three years.”

According to the Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau, when the State 23 project was first approved in 1999, the estimated cost was $42 million. Today, due to ongoing delays and inflation, the project is estimated to cost $146 million.

“Deficient highways, roads and bridges impact our safety and economy on a daily basis. Sheboygan County agriculture alone generates $3.1 billion in economic activity, and a safe and reliable transportation system is essential,” said Goehring.

“We hope people will come join us at the forum Thursday evening. The ‘Just Fix It’ transportation forums held across the state will bring people together to discuss the challenges we face, and hopefully encourage the Governor and State Legislators to work together on a long-term solution,” Wegner added.

More information about the statewide event is available at www.TurnoutforTransportation.com.


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