Don’t Delay Disaster Aid

When disasters strike, causing unusually heavy damage to infrastructure such as roads, local governments cannot hope for a knight in shining armor to come rescue taxpayers.

That’s one reason we have state and federal government disaster recovery programs. It is their responsibility to ride to the rescue.

Severe storms earlier this year did substantial damage to many East Ohio roads. Repairing it is beyond the means of most local government entities.

During their meeting last week, Belmont County commissioners heard a report on damage to roads that are the responsibility of township trustees. In Pease Township alone, rainfall and resultant flooding caused about $1.6 million in damage. “We don’t have the people or the resources to fix things really right,” observed township Trustee Michael Bianconi.

It was worse in Pultney Township. There, the damage estimate is nearly $3 million.

Because a state of emergency was declared in the area, beleaguered township trustees can expect some help from state and federal governments.

Let us hope adequate aid is provided, and without the usual months of red-tape delays. The spring construction season is upon us. The longer some roads are left unrepaired, the more expensive it will be to restore them. State and federal officials ought to be riding to the rescue right now.