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Alpine road meeting Wednesday

by Karen Dustman

The Alpine County Community Development Department will hold the second in a series of three public workshops on Wednesday to discuss the anticipated shortfall in the county roads budget.

According to Community Development Director Brian Peters, Alpine anticipates a $500,000 annual operating deficit in its road budget beginning in FY 2012-13, if federal forest receipts are phased out as planned. Snow removal operations, road maintenance, and equipment replacement budgets could be impacted.

Alpine County consists of just 743 square miles, of which about 96 percent is federal land.

Federal payments in lieu of taxes provide approximately 29 percent of the county’s road funding, but are slated to expire in three years unless re-authorized by Congress.

Peters noted that a variety of special tax districts could also provide new road funding, if adopted by the voters. These would essentially raise property taxes, but would be exempt from Prop 13 if voter-approved. Alpine County’s small private ownership base, however, would pose a limiting factor.

The second public roads workshop meeting will be 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Alpine Board of Supervisors Chambers, Markleeville.

Contact the Community Development Department at (530) 694-2140 for additional information, or visit the county Web site, http://www.alpinecountyca.gov.