South Dakota’s state revenues are looking better than you’d expect during a puzzling pandemic recession managed by incompetent fascists. Brown County is also managing to find some more revenue for infrastructure. After rising addiction and law enforcement costs drove a 38% cut in the county highway budget last year, the Brown County Commission is putting back four-fifths of what it took away from road and bridge maintenance in the 2021 budget:
Budget discussion a year ago started with a $4 million deficit, and the highway department took the bulk of the hit with a $3.5 million cut. That took the road and bridge budget from $9.32 million to about $6 million. But much of that budget was restored for 2021 with a $2.8 million increase [Elisa Sand, “After Big Cut, County Finds More Money for Roads, Bridges in ’21,” Aberdeen American News, 2020.08.17].
I bounced along some pretty rough stretches out in the country here this spring, some of which at least got some asphalt patches as the sun came out. Let’s hope the county can stretch those new dollars out in the 2021 budget to catch up on what fell behind this year.