State funding error could impact Henrico roads - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

State funding error could impact Henrico roads

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HENRICO, VA (WWBT) -

Millions of dollars for road projects are on the line in Henrico County. Right now, there's only a temporary fix in place. It's an unintended result of the new transportation plan.

The state's newly passed transportation bill was supposed to be a win-win for everyone.

"I pick up my kids. I'm in the car a lot commuting back and forth to their activities, schools, and day cares and what not," said Beth Mayo.

She's impressed with Henrico's roads.

"They're pretty good as far as upkeep on an annual basis. I'm always seeing our roads around here being re-paved," she said.

But a letter from VDOT commissioner Gregory Whirley explains what he calls an "unintended consequence."    

Henrico is one of two counties in Virginia which funds its own road work. Some of those projects are then reimbursed by the state, but in an effort to standardize funding to localities across Virginia, those reimbursements could now be overlooked - and they're worth millions of dollars.

"That's a shame," Mayo said.

"Yes, there are funding issues at stake and that's obviously why we're working on it," said Delegate John O'Bannon.

He voted for the transportation bill and is concerned but optimistic.

"They I think acknowledged the mistake was on their part. Now I think we're all going in the right direction of getting it fixed," O'Bannon added.

"Keep the attention that were used to having on our roads. I'd hate to see that would slide," Mayo said.

Even though the amendments to the transportation plan have moved forward, VDOT is saying for now - it will basically overlook the changes it made. Then next legislative session, lawmakers can re-visit and re-work the wording that caused this mistake.

Last year, Henrico received more than $32 million from the state for roads. Under the original transportation plan, Henrico was set to get $10 million more each year. VDOT says it will work to make sure Henrico and Arlington won't lose money due to this mistake.

Henrico's Public Works department's director declined our request for an interview. The County Manager was unavailable.

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