/ Letters / Roads don’t fix themselves

Roads don’t fix themselves

April 15, 2020

To the Editor:

During the most recent election campaign I watched several different TV ads for Tom Tiffany. Several of those ads stated that Tiffany supported lumbering and mining. The ads did not explain what that meant. Tiffany was running in a primary for a congressional seat. I wondered what exactly does Tiffany plan to do in support of the lumbering and mining industry from a seat in Congress? There was one TV ad with the same statement supporting lumbering and mining, but underneath that statement was another saying that Tiffany supported SB404. That caught my attention. Was that a Wisconsin Senate bill or a US Senate bill? I looked into SB404. It is definitely a Wisconsin Senate bill sponsored by Senator Tiffany. The bill “authorizes the DOT to issue permits for the operation of vehicle combinations that exceed maximum gross weight limitations by not more than 11,000 pounds if the vehicle combination has six or more axles.” In other words, a vehicle that is permitted to carry 80,000 pounds would be able to apply for a permit to carry 91,000 pounds. According to the Director of the Wisconsin Transportation Information Center at the University of Wisconsin, a legally loaded semi-trailer truck can produce 5,000 to 10,000 times the road damage of one car. In spite of the terrible condition of the roads in Tiffany’s district, Tiffany now wants certain large trucks to be able do more damage to our roads. 

Although there is a difference of opinion about whose fault it is that there hasn’t been sufficient funding for road construction, it is Tiffany’s responsibility to support a policy that creates more money for road construction. For example, the gas tax which is totally dedicated to transportation needs has not been changed since 2006. Governor Evers proposed raising the tax by 8 cents. Instead of pursuing a compromise increase, the Republican led legislature trashed the whole thing. Doing nothing doesn’t fix the roads.

Reducing taxes is another position that Tiffany promoted in his ads. Part of the responsibility of any elected official is to be honest with citizens about the costs of providing basic services. 

 

1. Roads don’t fix themselves.

2. Large trucks and increasing weight loads do significant damage to our roads (without paying anywhere near their fair share for upkeep of the roads.)

3. Citizens and legislators need to face the fact that roads can only be kept in good repair or rebuilt with adequate funding.

4. Constantly lowering taxes does not fix the roads.

There is another basic service that has been mentioned in the news lately that Senator Tiffany apparently was not being proactive about for the citizens of the Northwoods. SB511 would provide coverage for firefighters and first responders for PTSD, but DID NOT provide coverage for volunteers. Where was Senator Tiffany? Why didn’t Tiffany immediately add an amendment to make sure our volunteer firefighters and emergency personnel are eligible to receive the same support?? Too busy supporting bigger weight loads for our crumbling roads???

Why not create legislation that would provide all rural fire departments that are manned by volunteers with financial grants to pay those volunteers to attend state required training, and to help pay volunteers for every fire or emergency they report for.

Instead Senator Tiffany wants to support lumbering and mining while our roads turn to gravel and our rural county fire departments are being drained of volunteers.


Cheryl Tertinger

Minocqua



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