MALONE — A long-held desire to improve the surface and bridges on Brainardsville Road will be financed by Franklin County with a $3 million bond.
Highway Superintendent Jonathan Hutchins has lobbied for improvement for more than a year as the condition of the highway steadily deteriorates and the cost of materials to fix it increases.
“If you wait another year, it will be another $1 million,” he recently told legislators.
Hutchins said that more than 570,000 trips are made in a year over the roadway, which is also known as County Route 24, between Malone and Brainardsville near the Clinton County line.
It fell into disrepair following extensive rebuilding in 2000 and 2001, when wind-farm projects in Clinton County and eastern Franklin County were built.
Hutchins said it’s cheaper to do it all at once instead of across several years and that repairing it could add 15 years to its life.
The road is 10 feet wider than a typical county road because it used to be a state highway and was built to state specifications, and it is therefore more expensive to pave and to maintain.
To pay for the estimated $2.7 million project, with a $300,000 contingency built in, the county will pursue a short-term bond-anticipation note at an interest rate of either 1 or 2 percent.
That will mean setting aside about $60,000 in the 2014 budget, said County Manager Thomas Leitz.
The other option was to borrow the funds long-term and end up paying a maximum of about $350,000 in interest over the 10-year life of that bond.
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