LONG ROAD AHEAD
DERBY – New development on the Derby-Newport Road, including the construction of a Walmart Super Center, raises the questions of whether or not a complete upgrade of Derby Road is required, which is anticipated to cost in excess of $32 million, and who is responsible to pay for the upgrade.There are several ways to pay for the upgrades, although any state and federal funding necessary to share in the costs will probably kill or delay the project for years to come. VTrans, (the state's highway department) has a budget shortfall of $241 million over the next five years with sinking revenue projections, and that is only for maintaining and repairing the existing road network. Allocating even a percentage of funding for new development is not in VTrans financial plans for the next few years.Town of Derby taxpayers may be reluctant to support bonding to upgrade the road network, even if there is general approval of the development project. However, a couple of options are available to help mitigate the infrastructure upgrades and resulting costs.For more of this story, see Thursday's edition of the Newport Daily Express for Jan. 31, 2013.