Blanding City Gets Funding For Road Improvements
Blanding City just received $2.5 million from the San Juan Transportation Special Service District and the Community Impact Board to do repairs and improvements to roads – roads that serve a community of 4,000 residents.
Jeremy Redd is the city manager in Blanding and said they rely on tourism, education and the health industry to keep their community vibrant. But being a city that is six hours from the closest airport and no interstate nearby, finding funding for their roads can be difficult.
“We’re doing $2.5 million," Redd said. "But if we were doing a new street, a new road that didn’t currently exist – we look at about a million dollars a mile to put in a new road so they’re very expensive. Personally, Blanding City gets $139,000 a year from gas taxes so if we were trying to rely just on the gas tax to maintain our roads, we would have terrible roads and I think every city in the state is in a similar position. So most cities are supplementing that with general fund money that could be used for something else.”
Redd said people are starting to compare Blanding now to how Moab used to be twenty years ago - not crowded and appealing to international tourists who want to experience hiking and back country exploration. There are some locals, he said, who would like to keep it that way.
“The vast majority of people realize if you’re not growing you’re dying," Redd said. "And you need to keep pushing and improving your roads, improving your water system – inviting people to come see what you have. That’s the way that you stay vibrant as a community.”
The repairs on the 3.84 miles of road begin on July 27, and is projected to take three months.