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Wisconsin bankers' farm bulletin
(1913-1919)

Hotchkiss, W. O.
Wisconsin bankers' farm bulletin. Bulletin no. 9: how to get good roads at low cost PDF (1.0 MB)



    The various county boards have selected for each county, a system
of main-travelled roads leading into each town in the county. These
                       main-travelled roads make up about one-sixth
Improve Main Roads of the total road mileage of the state. Any
First.                 road on this system can be permanently im-
                       proved at the joint expense of the town and
county, each paying equal shares, and the state paying the remainder,
not exceeding one-third. When they are so improved they become
state roads and the county must maintain them. Until they become
state roads they are town roads and the town builds and maintains
them.
    The final matter to be discussed here is how to get this state and
county aid. There are three methods. In all three the power to start
                    the ball rolling is left in the hands of the local
Getting State Aid. people. Neither the county highway commis-
                    sioner, nor the state highway commission has any
                    power to compel any road to be improved, except
in very unusual and urgent cases.*
    One method is to get someone to donate money to pay the town's
full share of the cost. Another is to take up a subscription to pay
half of the town's share. In this case the town board is compelled by
law to levy the other half as a tax. The usual method, however, is to
vote in the spring town meeting. A special tax of not less than $400
may be voted for improving any part of the system the town meeting
selects.
    When the money is available under any of the three methods
named, the town board sends a petition to the county clerk by Septem-
ber 1st and he forwards it to the state highway commission. The
county's and state's shares then come automatically and the following
year the county highway commissioner builds the road.
    In 1914 there will be $4,500,000 spent on state aided roads. This
means that state, county, and town taxes were levied for this purpose
                  in January to the extent of about $1,500,000 of
About the Taxes. each. Four and a half million dollars is a big addi-
                  tion to the tax roll and all of us felt it. Is it
worth while? The answer we must sit down and figure out, as sug-
gested in the first page of this pamphlet. Would we rather keep the
4Y2 millions in our pockets and pay mud road freights, have our boys
and girls leave the farm, have poor schools, and all the other things
that go with bad roads, or would we rather have the 4Y2 millions on
the road? The answer I believe is to be found in the fact that out of
1,588 local units of government eligible for state aid, 1,211 asked for
and will receive county and state aid in 1914. Is your town one of the
1,211 or one of the others?
    *Anyone who desires to get his town started should write the State
Highway Commission at Madison for a copy of the law.
*"-"O. wu"@-Use Co.. MLWAUXg.


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