The Fulton County Board of Supervisors is deciding whether to apply for a grant to pay for a study on how to do a more cost-effective job of maintaining the county's roads. The county has been seeking the support of the municipalities within the county. So far, several have approved of the study. The town of Mayfield has rejected it, and others will be reviewing the proposal this month.
A state program would pay for 90 percent of the estimated $100,000 study, leaving Fulton County with a roughly $10,000 cost.
Mayfield Supervisor Richard Argotsinger, chairman of the Buildings and Grounds/Highway Committee, said the opponents on his Town Board think the town of Mayfield could do a better job with highway maintenance than the county.
Those opponents, as well as any others among the county's municipalities, are missing the point. Every locality should support the county study.
The Municipal Highway Maintenance Efficiency Study would look at ways to reduce the cost to local taxpayers through consolidation of highway departments or other means. Maintaining the county's 725 miles of roads costs more than $9 million a year. The study likely would show ways the municipalities could share services, materials and equipment, and possibly consolidate some highway departments.
As long as local governments carry out some of the recommendations that come from the study, the effort would be a worthwhile investment. The potential benefits are obvious. Municipal support should be unanimous throughout the county.