It’s not clear yet whether the road money that Champaign will receive from Gov. Pat Quinn’s “Illinois Jobs Now!” program will actually create any jobs in Champaign or fix any more potholes, according to a local official. (For the record, the exclamation point is my least favorite punctuation mark, especially when it is used like that.)
Quinn announced last week that the state would release another $100 million to supplement the funds it normally shares with Illinois municipalities from motor fuels taxes. Each municipality received its proportion of that $100 million, so it broke down like this for the county and two cities:
Extra under jobs program
City of Champaign
City of Urbana
In total, Champaign County, its road districts and all of its municipalities will receive about $1.4 million to supplement the roughly $8 million they have already received from motor fuels taxes for road work. You can click here to see where I got that information and how it breaks down for the rest of Illinois, including the other Champaign County municipalities that I did not include here.
In Champaign, that money will be added to the annual road maintenance program for next year, said Public Works Director Dennis Schmidt.
But will it allow the city to do more work than they would have otherwise planned? Yes, Schmidt said, but only assuming there are no further spending reductions to the city's road maintenance program. City officials have been planning for up to $6 million in budget shortfalls before the end of this year, and it's not looking like the fiscal situation will be much better next year.
Schmidt's department will plan next year's maintenance program this winter, when it will be decided specifically where the extra money will go.