CHARLESTON, W.Va. —The West Virginia Legislative Auditor’s Office has released the attached report on the West Virginia Division of Highways maintenance funding allocations this afternoon.
Aaron Allred, legislative manager, issued the following summary on maintenance funds allocations within all 10 West Virginia Division of Highways Districts:
The Performance Evaluation and Research Division (PERD) issued an analysis in January 2019 on maintenance funds allocations and expenditures in Districts 4 and 5 of the West Virginia Division of Highways (DOH). The basic finding of the report was that during the 2009-2017 period, County maintenance organizations in Districts 4 and 5 did not spend at least 70 percent on “core” maintenance as required by DOH policy. The DOH places a high priority on core maintenance, such as mowing, patching, ditching, snow removal, and other maintenance activities because they are necessary for proper day-to-day use of the state’s roads.
While non-core maintenance activities are important, such as pavement marking, open drainage systems and bridge repair, the DOH encourages its County and Expressways maintenance organizations to spend no more than 30 percent on non-core maintenance. PERD’s January 2019 report showed that in most cases each year County maintenance organizations were spending 40 to 50 percent on non-core maintenance and around 50 to 60 percent on core maintenance.
Given the results on Districts 4 and 5, PERD was instructed to examine all 10 DOH Districts. The February 2019 report examined not only County maintenance organizations, but it includes Expressways maintenance organizations which are also required to spend at least 70 percent of their funds on core maintenance. The findings for fiscal years 2012 through 2018 were similar to the previous report. With a few exceptions, both maintenance organizations in all 10 districts spent less that 70 percent on core maintenance, in some cases considerably less.
County Maintenance organizations for Mercer, Barbour and Wood Counties were at or close to 70 percent. For Expressways Maintenance organizations, the 70 percent goal was met less frequently, with Hardy and Pocahontas Counties meeting the goal in only 1 year in the 7-year period.
The Division of Highways emphasizes that 100 percent of maintenance allocations are spent each year within each county. The only time that some county funds may be diverted to another county would be during an emergency such as the flooding that occurred in fiscal year 2016.
There are five possible explanations provided by DOH for not meeting the 70 percent core maintenance goal. The reasons are weather challenges, labor challenges, possible accounting issues, influx of supplemental/special funds, and extended use of roads with the sudden boom of the natural gas industry and subsequent truck traffic in the areas of study.
An executive summary of the report is below.
Per the requests of Senator Robert Beach and Delegate Isaac Sponaugle, the Legislative Auditor conducted an Agency Review of the West Virginia Division of Highways (DOH) maintenance funding allocations pursuant to W.Va. Code §4-2-5. As part of the review, we analyzed maintenance funding allocations of the 10 DOH designated districts, specifically District 4 and District 5, and presented the report in January 2019 Interim Meetings. This review extends the analysis to all DOH Districts. The objectives of this report are to:
- explain the methodology and formula used by the DOH to allocate maintenance funds to its Districts; and
- analyze the allocation of maintenance funding within all DOH Districts from Fiscal Year 2012 through Fiscal year 2018.
Frequently Used Acronyms in This Report
DOH: West Virginia Division of Highways
CMP: Core Maintenance Plan
SRIC: Snow Removal and Ice Control FY: Fiscal Year
- • The DOH allocates its maintenance funding using the Annual Plan and the Core Maintenance Plan (CMP). Each maintenance organization within each designated District, namely, County, Expressway, Sign Shop, and Bridge Maintenance, is required to submit an Annual Plan.
- • The Annual Plan consists of maintenance activities and budget allocations for each of those activities. The CMP consists of what the DOH establishes as “core” maintenance activities for any successful highway maintenance program. The CMP requires that core maintenance budget allocation comprise of 70 percent of the Annual Plan budget. The remaining 30 percent of the Annual Plan budget is devoted to other maintenance activities and responses to citizen’s request for assistance.
- • Data show that total maintenance expenditures are more than the allocated amount for each fiscal year throughout the analysis period.
- • The majority of County and Expressway organizations spent consistently less than the required 70 percent of their Annual Plan budget on core activities over the scope of the study.
- • Fifty (50) of the 58 County organizations did not meet the 70 percent goal. The exceptions were District 3 Pleasants County for FY 2013 and Wood County for FY 2012 – FY 2015;
- District 5 Hampshire County for FY 2015 and FY 2016 and Mineral County for FY 2016; District 7 Barbour County for FY 2012 – FY 2016; and District 10 Mercer County for FY 2012 – FY2017, Raleigh County for FY 2013, and Wyoming County for FY 2013 – FY 2015.
- • Twenty-nine (29) of 31 Expressway organizations did not meet the 70 percent goal. For expressway organizations, the exceptions were District 5 Knobley Expressway in FY 2017 and District 8 Thomas Substation in FY 2017.
For more information, contact Allred at 304-347-4800 or [email protected].