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Southeastern PA

Montgomery County earmarks $22M to fix roads, bridges

NORRISTOWN, Pa. - Montgomery County has passed a capital plan that sets spending of $56,695,719 over the next five years, with $42 million are county capital funds.

The plan focuses on improving county assets and infrastructure, public safety and corrections, Parkhouse, roads and bridges, information technology (IT) and solutions, vehicle replacement, SEPTA, economic development and the revitalization of the community. The largest aspect in the budget are the roads and bridges, spending $21.8 million on the improvements.

"We are investing in our own assists," said Vice Chair Leslie S. Richards. "The total capital revenues, which this year equal over $14 million, and over five years we expect it to equal almost $95 million. The majority of that is from PennDOT matching funds."

The budget for the estimated road projects is 80% federal money, 15% from state and 5%  from county funds. There are expected to be 11 bridges and six roads as potential projects over the next five years.

"We don't have the specified projects, but those numbers were based on taking an overview of the bridges… and saw which bridges most likely would need help," said Richards, who worked with staff in analyzing the bridges.

The county is working on hiring a new consultant to ensure the projects get completed in the best possible fashion.

County infrastructure like the courthouse, courthouse garage, One Montgomery Plaza, juvenile probation, library, county trucks, sidewalk repairs and the Youth Center are all set to see improvements.

The county is putting $12 million towards public safety for a radio system and $1.5 million towards emergency communications for the county. Commissioners stated they are focused on having all radio systems available to the municipalities at simultaneously.

"We still have details to work out," said Chief Finance Officer Uri Monson. The radio systems are used for police, fire, EMS, sheriff's department and District Attorney's office.

Richards said the amount of the radios is being offered to the municipalities at half of the cost as the original proposal.

County commissioners unanimously approved the budgetary plan, which they stressed is just a plan, and it will be revisited during each fiscal year.

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