Road audit reveals maintenance funding discrepancies

MONONGALIA COUNTY, W.Va. (WDTV)-- In May, Senator Bob Beach (D-Monongalia) pushed for answers about road conditions in District 4. This includes Monongalia, Marion, Harrison and a few other counties.

The requested audit, granted yesterday, revealed how funds are being distributed.

"The money that's actually allocated to the districts, only about 50% to 52% is that is being used in the counties," said Beach.

According to Beach, the audit said that the Division of Highways (DOH) is required to use 70% of the maintenance money on core projects.

This, he says, isn't happening.

"We are getting the revenue that we're supposed to be getting, however, it's not being spent. Because it's not being spent we're not getting our roads repaired, the brush cut, ditches ditched like they're supposed to be," said Beach.

We've done several stories in the past from different counties around our region showing the poor roads. One in Marion County blocked off instead of fixed.

Beach says the last time the 70% was close to being reached was in 2010, in Monongalia County.

Since then, only about 49%-50% is being used. A lot of the problem stems from the lack of workers.

"If we're not spending that 70%, where is that money going? That 20% or 15%, so we need to follow the money there and we need to address the labor issue. I think we could fix a lot of problems if we can come to the source of what's going on," said Beach.

"I think if we got 100% of it, it still wouldn't be enough. I think that's the basic problem. We're just trying to put bandaids on big problems," said resident, Charles McEwuen.

In 2018, Beach says, the district was given roughly $30 million, but only $22 million was spent.

The question people want answered, where is the money going when so many roads are a wreck?

"I've not seen any increase in the betterment of the roads around my area at all. Nothing is any different than it was three years ago, so where is that money going? It'd be nice to know these things," said another resident, Carl Webber.

"The Department of Highways and the legislature needs to take a hard look at how they're going to fix the problem," said Beach.

Beach says one of the big things the audit revealed was the labor shortage. An issue he says needs to be a main focus in order to get the money properly spent and roads maintained.

5 News did reach out to the DOH for a comment, but they didn't get back to us.