Cumberland Times-News


July 7, 2014

Tank empty

Congress must find way to replenish highway trust fund

— Now that Congress has returned to work after a summer recess its members finally have to decide what to do about the embattled federal highway trust fund.

The fund helps with construction projects in all 50 states but is expected to run out of money at the end of August. Last year, $37 billion in road projects came out of the federal highway fund.

Not surprisingly — because of partisan politics — legislators in both parties support federal highway funding but differ on how to replenish the dwindling trust fund. If the two sides can’t come to an agreement before Aug. 1, political observers in Washington believe a short-term agreement will  be reached instead, extending funding for the trust account through the end of the year. While that would fix the problem for a few months, it only delays an ultimate solution.

According to the Baltimore Sun, the highway trust fund receives its money from an 18.4-cent federal gas tax. But the tax is not producing enough revenue and the trust fund’s deficit is at $14 billion annually.

Maryland implemented a half-cent gasoline tax on July 1. The state comptroller’s office said the increase will net the state $97 million more money for highway projects this year.

But Maryland, like all states, heavily relies on federal highway trust funds for highway and bridge projects. If the federal funding dries up, those projects will come to a halt.

Highway conditions in Allegany and Garrett counties have worsened in the last few years because of cutbacks in highway funding from the state. If federal funds also come into jeopardy, the condition of  local roads and bridges will only worsen.

For the sake of motorists everywhere, Democrats and Republicans need a unified position on the highway trust fund — and they need it quickly.

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  • If we don’t sell it to them, somebody else will

    The front page article on coal exports by AP writer Dina Cappiello is one of the most asinine and biased “news” articles I’ve read (“Not in my backyard: U.S. sending dirty coal abroad,” July 29 Times-News, Page 1A).

    July 30, 2014

  • Research cost of watershed plan before implementing it

    July 30, 2014

  • ‘Prayers in the Park’ event slated Aug. 18 in Johnstown

    July 30, 2014

  • Not a villain Not a villain

    Time was that we looked for heroes. Heroes of the make-believe variety have sold a lot of comic books. We also had real-life heroes like Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, whose deaths the whole nation mourned.
    These days, we seem to be more interested in looking for villains. “Vote for me because I’m the good guy” has taken a back seat to “Don’t vote for him, because he’s the bad guy.”

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Other groups get county funds, so should CHCO

    At a recent county commissioner meeting, members of the Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization, Maryland Delegate LeRoy Myers Jr. and Pastor Alfred Deas of the Metropolitan A.M.E. Church, Cumberland attended to request from the commissioners $5 dollars of marriage license money be permanently allocated to the CHCO (“Cemetery group renews funding request,” July 25 Times-News, Page 1A).

    July 29, 2014

  • No public funding for extremist organization

    Once again, the Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization has asked the Allegany County commissioners for public funding (“Cemetery group renews funding request,” July 25 Times-News, Page 1A).

    July 29, 2014

  • About time About time

    Although many Cumberland streets are in need of repair and improvements, the decision by city and county officials to address Greene Street is a good one.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Why are fair officials targeting firefighters?

    The Allegany County Fair has been known for its Demolition Derby for a long time. Several years back the operation of the derby was awarded to the local Cresaptown Volunteer Fire Department.

    July 28, 2014

  • Here’s a time when W.Va. law took precedence over Md. law

     There may be an applicable precedent concerning any assumption that the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority (PHAA) can choose to ignore West Virginia territorial state laws.

    July 28, 2014

  • Citizens don’t want Terrapin Run; remove it from the plan

    July 28, 2014