The state recently announced that 24 Wisconsin counties will share $284,700 in state funds to help maintain and improve public roads in county forests.
Many of the counties receiving state assistance are located in the Northwoods.
The 2013 fiscal year funds are distributed through the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s County Forest Road Aids program. They will help improve more than 900 miles of public roads within county forests.
To qualify for the state funding, roads must meet minimum design standards of a 16 foot surface width and a 20 foot roadway width; must be located within county forests; must be open and used for travel; and cannot be town roads, county or state highways.
In the area, Vilas County’s 48 miles of County Forest roads will lead to $15,200, and Oneida County has 37 miles leading to $11,700. Other counties receiving money include Lincoln County with $8,500 for 27 miles; Taylor County $5,500 for 17 miles and Langlade County $2,400 for nearly 8 miles.
County Forest Road Aids are separate from the larger General Transportation Aids (GTA) program. GTA returns to local governments nearly 19 percent of all state-collected transportation revenues (fuel taxes and vehicle registration fees), helping offset the cost of county and municipal road construction, maintenance, traffic and other transportation-related costs.
Marinette County, with more than 220 miles of eligible county forest roads, will receive the largest payment of more than $70,200.