Towns Need Rural Road Funding

Funding for roads has been a hot topic at the State Capitol for decades. A proposed bill called the Agricultural Roads Improvement Grant Program would provide one time funding of 150 million dollars to update rural roads. The proposal has received significant support from legislators, rural government organizations, and agricultural groups.   

The Assembly Committee on Transportation and Senate Committee on Transportation and Local Government just held public hearings where a number of individuals from agricultural organizations shared testimony in support of this funding. One of the supportive farmers in attendance was Arch Morton Jr. Morton who raises crops outside Janesville. 

Morton has a unique perspective on the issue as both a farmer and supervisor for the Town of La Prairie. When he spoke of his local township, he said that they only have money to repave 2 miles of roads every year for a township that has 44 miles of town roads. The need to keep up with maintenance was so dire for their Township that they asked residents to approve a $100,000 levy 8 years ago. 

After selling his cow herd 14 years ago, Morton shifted his focus to crops. He is well aware of the need for good roads so that he can easily move from farm to field with his equipment. Speaking on why he felt the need to testify, Morton said, “It’s very important to either come and testify or belong to some of those groups that are representing you because we can’t all get off the farm.”