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Study: Scott County needs $150 million in road improvements over next 5 years

Scott County needs at least $167 million of public infrastructure improvements over the next five years, the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR) reported Monday.

TACIR’s report on $58.6 billion of public infrastructure improvements needed across the state included $166.7 million in Scott County, an increase of $51.6 million since last year’s report.

Included in that total is $156.9 million in transportation improvements, $5.9 million in new public schools or school additions, and $1.9 million in water and wastewater improvements.

The county’s total estimated cost for needed infrastructure improvements is $7,556 per capita, which is slightly lower than the statewide needs of $8,578 per capita. However, Scott County’s estimated transportation needs of $7,109 per capita are significantly greater than the statewide needs of $4,689 per capita. On the other end of the spectrum, Scott County’s water and wastewater capabilities are in relatively good shape; needed improvements in that arena would cost only $84 per capita here while needed improvements statewide amount to $726 per capita.

Less than a third of the money needed to meet Tennessee’s public infrastructure needs has been identified, TACIR reported. Statewide, officials are confident that 35% of the money for the needed projects will be available. But the outlook is far more dismal locally. It’s estimated that only about 10.4% — or $16.5 million — of the total funding needed for Scott County’s infrastructure needs will be available.

Scott County ranks 63rd out of 95 Tennessee counties in total population, but 35th out of 95 counties in total estimated infrastructure needs per capita.

On the subject of schools, TACIR reported that officials in Scott County did not rate any of the community’s school buildings as less than good overall. Local officials estimated that the cost to upgrade or maintain existing schools is $7.1 million for the county school system and $100,000 for the Oneida Special School District.

The cost to bring school buildings in Scott County up to good condition is $357 per student; statewide, that cost is $5,361.

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Statewide, at least $32 billion is needed for transportation improvements, $5.6 billion for post-secondary education improvements and $5.1 billion for school renovations, the TACIR report concluded.

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