County Leaders Scramble For Road Improvement Money After Storms - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

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County Leaders Scramble For Road Improvement Money After Storms

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“Right now it’s in the millions. We don’t know if it’s in the tens of millions,” said Cleveland County Commissioner Rod Cleveland about damage he’s trying to fix. “Right now it’s in the millions. We don’t know if it’s in the tens of millions,” said Cleveland County Commissioner Rod Cleveland about damage he’s trying to fix.

A Federal Disaster Declaration was approved for Cleveland, Grady and Oklahoma County from May storms. But some county leaders are trying to cut through the federal red tape.

“Right now it's in the millions. We don't know if it's in the tens of millions,” said Cleveland County Commissioner Rod Cleveland about damage he's trying to fix.

He's requesting Gov. Mary Fallin look into freeing up millions of dollars in the "County Improvement for Roads and Bridges” Fund (CIRB).

“We have immediate needs that we are doing and that's going to deplete our monthly maintenance funds,” said Cleveland.

Some state lawmakers agree with the immediate help.

“This fund that was used and set up, exclusively for roads and bridges in rural Oklahoma, should be able to be used for that,” said Rep. Scott Inman.

The Governor's Office tells News 9 transferring funds out of CIRB would take more than the Governor signatures. It would take legislative authorization. FEMA will eventually reimburse some counties, including Cleveland, but commissioners say it could take years.

Cleveland's bigger beef is what will happen to long-term road construction work across the state after the governor used $71 million in CIRB funding to balance the budget.

The fund will be capped moving forward.

Cleveland says the result could mean $300 million in road and bridge improvements that won't get done or will drastically slow down until funding become available.

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