IMPROVE Act Will Have $35 Million Impact On Fentress In Next 15 Years

Fentress County Road Supervisor Scott Norris, left, is shown talking with Gary Brennin during his visit to here last week to explain the impact of the recently-passed IMPROVE Act by the Tennessee Legislature.

Gary Drinnen, indepen-dent consultant and Advisory Council for the Transportation Coalition of Tennessee, was visiting in Fentress County last week and met with Fentress Co. Road Supervisor and others to explain the impact that the new IMPROVE Act will have on Fentress County.

 In an interview with the Courier on Tuesday, May 16, Mr. Drinnen commented:

“Today, I am here on behalf of the Transportation Coalition of Tennessee, made up of 38 organizations that have been collectively focused on passage of a long-term and sustainable funding source for our state’s roads and bridges.

With passage of Governor Bill Haslam’s IMPROVE Act in April to create that needed funding, all of us who live in Tennessee, our visitors and industries had a big win.

First, the IMPROVE Act contains the largest tax cut in the history of our great state.

Coupled with a modest increase to gas and diesel user fees, the new transportation revenue is the primary funding for 962 projects in all 95 counties. And those dollars won’t fall solely on the shoulders of Tennessee residents. Out-of-state truckers and tourists will help fund our roads and bridges.

We applaud Governor Haslam for his leadership in advancing transportation funding. He delved into this issue and traveled the state on a listening tour in 2015 that led to a list of projects he released in 2016 that he had learned were very important to communities across Tennessee for their economy and way of life.

Late in 2016, legislators told the governor they wanted to see tax cuts alongside the new funding package. He went back to the drawing board, and in January, Governor Haslam delivered a proposal that included both transporta-tion revenue AND tax cuts.

The governor did town hall visits around the state to share that he had unveiled the most conservative approach to deal with the dilemma of a growing backlog of unfunded projects.

Read the rest of the story in this weeks Fentress Courier.