RICE TOWNSHIP -- Officials in the Mountain Top area of Luzerne County say they are surprised about what a road survey in one township has revealed.
The survey says 15 of Rice Township's roads are in need of major repair, to the tune of $1 million--double the township's budget.
"It looks like we have close to a million dollars worth of repairs that need to be done on 15 major roads," said Rice Township Secretary Alicia Stier.
The report was done for Rice Township by Penn Eastern Engineers. The results have been put into a 5-year plan for repairing township roads. That plan includes about $30,000 to repair cracks on Aleksander Boulevard, more than $100,000 to repave parts of Henry Drive, and nearly a quarter of a million dollars to repair Laurel Drive, where parts of the road have deteriorated from pavement to almost gravel.
"Well, that's a lot of money for the taxpayers! You know to taxing them I think, you know," said Fred Stein of Rice Township.
The path to fixing the roads in Rice Township is going to be challenging because officials say they just don't have the money. Right now, they are budgeted for $500,000 over the next five years. That's half of what's needed.
"We never want to raise taxes. We have a really good track record there. We would like to do the best by all the residents in the township without raising taxes," Stier said.
Officials say to bridge the money gap in repairing these township roads they are looking to apply for state and federal grant money.
"That's what they should do. There's enough money around the country. They can help us out, ya know," Stein said.
Township officials say they will welcome residents' input on which roads should be worked on first and where the money should come from at a meeting on may 5 at 6:30 p.m.