November 8, 2013

The U.S. Highway 30 Coalition of Iowa - which includes members from Carroll County and the surrounding region - will review new concepts for transportation funding during a regular meeting Friday, Nov. 15, in Nevada.

The meeting will begin at 10 a.m. in the Story County Administration Building, 900 Sixth St.

The coalition's primary long-term goal is the full funding of U.S. Highway 30 across Iowa.

Iowa Department of Transportation will present information on possible changes to the way roads and bridges are funded in Iowa.

DOT director Paul Trombino III recently released a position paper detailing possible new funding plans.

Some of the ideas include:

- Replace the per-gallon fuel tax with a 6 percent excise tax on fuel applied at the wholesale level.

- Allow cities and counties with local-option sales taxes to apply them to gas.

- Increase the oversize, overweight vehicle permit fees.

- Increase the fee for new registration from 5 percent to 6 percent.

Meanwhile, State Sen. Rick Bertrand, R-Sioux City, in a letter published in several Iowa newspapers, proposed using state surplus dollars to complete the four-laning of U.S. 20. Several legislators at both the federal and state level - including U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Kiron - have said Highway 20 four-laning should be finished before resources are directed to 30.

According to the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Bertrand proposed investing $90 million a year for four years to finish the four-lane link from Moville to Sac City. "No budget adjustments; no revenue burden," Bertrand said in proposing to use the state's "over-taxation" surplus to complete the project with a "one-time funding investment," The Gazette reported.

For its part, the U.S. 30 Coalition has ranked the 7-mile stretch between Carroll and Glidden as a priority for four-laning.