State Representative Bjorn Olson (R-Elmore) is sponsoring a pair of bills that will help rural towns with their road and bridge needs over the next two years.

“We always hear how our state highways and interstates are in need of funding, but the reality is many of our local roads and bridges are in serious need of repair,” Olson said. “My legislation would begin to address this problem.”

Olson’s first bill would appropriate $8 million in each of the next two years to continue the popular Small Cities Assistance Program, which provides a revenue stream for towns to make street repairs.

His second bill would dedicate $2.6 million annually for town roads and $1.4 million annually for town bridges. The split is proportional based on the current allocations to town roads and bridges under a statutory formula for “set-aside” funds from the Highway User Tax Distribution Fund, which contains and distributes revenue from the motor fuels tax, the registration tax, and a portion of the motor vehicle sales tax.

“Greater Minnesota’s transportation needs cannot be ignored,” Olson said. “My legislation would ensure that all communities will have a statewide source of revenue to repair their roads and streets.”