(Missoula Current) The City of Missoula will direct more than $1.4 million in funds received from a statewide gas tax toward a number of road and safety projects this fiscal year, including work to improve Russell Street near the county fairgrounds.

Allison Segal, the business finance manager for Public Works, said the city will receive $1.44 million from the state's distribution of taxes collected through the Bridge and Road Safety and Accountability Act.

“This is an annual distribution we receive from the state,” said Segal. “The projects were included in the FY '23 budget request.”

The city will allocate the funds to three overlay projects, including a stretch of California Street, Lincoln Hills, and Turner and Worden streets.

The funds will also be directed to several capital improvement projects including $50,000 for Higgins Avenue, $76,000 for safety improvements on Russell Street at the Missoula County Fairgrounds, and $955,000 for Turner and Worden streets.

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In addition, the city will add roughly $126,000 in funds remaining from last year's state allocation. Those projects came in under budget and will go to pad this year's list of work, Segal said.

The Bridge and Road Safety and Accountability Act was adopted by the Legislature in 2017 and began distributing funds in 2018. It increased Montana's fuel tax rate to $0.315 for gasoline and $0.292 for special fuels.

Missoula's $1.4 million is second only to Billings, which netted $2.2 million is this year's distribution. The only other city to break the $1 million mark was Great Falls, which will receive $1.2 million.

Missoula County this week also accepted its percent of the state tax, which netted the county $406,000. A full list of allocations to Montana's cities and counties can be found at this link.

“I'm happy to see those funds go to good use and projects in the community,” said Mirtha Becerra, chair of the Missoula City Council's Public Works Committee.

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