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Brown County Browser: How local option sales tax is used

Brown County has been collecting the Local Option Sales Tax for Transportation (LOST) since early 2016. I would like to update everyone as to where these funds have been used to date.

The first project using LOST funds was in 2019 on County State Aid Highway (CSAH) 29 from Trunk Highway 4 north of Sleepy Eye to CSAH 12 northwest of New Ulm. This project was a concrete overlay on 10.5 miles of roadway to rehabilitate a poor surface. The entire project was funded with LOST funds. This project cost $6.7 million.

The second project using LOST funds was in 2020 on CSAH 20 between CSAH 16 and CSAH 8 northeast of Comfrey. This project was a cold inplace recycle of the existing bituminous surface followed by a 3 inch bituminous overlay on a 5 mile segment of roadway to rehabilitate a poor surface. The entire project was funded with LOST funds. This project cost $1.1 million.

The third and most recent project using LOST funds was this year on CSAH 13 between Hanska and New Ulm. This project was a concrete overlay on 9 miles of roadway to rehabilitate a poor road surface. This project used federal, state aid and LOST funds. This project cost $5.45 million using $3.17 million in LOST funds.

Brown County maintains 346 miles of county roads. Of these miles 291 are paved. State aid and local levy funds alone were not sufficient to keep up with the increased costs of reconstructing and rehabilitating our county roads. LOST funds and the wheelage tax have allowed the County to start catching up on delayed projects. All three of the LOST projects described above improved a road surface from a poor one to a good one. Without the LOST funds these projects or other ones funded with state aid would have been delayed due to lack of funding. Three more projects funded with LOST funds are planned for 2023.

If anyone has a comment or question on County road construction projects please call 507-233-5700 or email wayne.stevens@co.brown.mn.us.

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