On May 6, the Aiken Standard printed an article on the front page, with the headline: “SRS needs reprogrammed funds.”
The article explained what reprogramming means: “Reprogramming is the use of funds for a purpose other than that for which they were originally provided, according to the Officer of Management and Budget”.
On the same day, on page 5A, an article was printed under the headline: “S.C. Senate tries to find money for defunct roads.” Two pictures showed the seriousness of this problem.
During the meetings regarding the widening of the Hitchcock Parkway, we were told over and over that it is not possible to transfer money from the “new roads” account to the “maintenance of roads” account.
The only way to do that, according to officials, is to cancel the project as planned and to start all over with plans for simple improvements. A project as such, according to the officials, could take up to six years.
As a simple resident of Aiken, may I make a suggestion? Would it be possible for the members of the S.C. Augusta Regional Transportation Subcommittee and the S.C. Department of Transportation to talk with the people of the management and budget office at Savannah River Site to get some more details on how to proceed on such a great idea? That way we could speed up the whole project by cancelling the plans of expanding the Hitchcock Parkway to four or five lanes, which no one wants or needs, and change it to a simpler project by putting in left and right turn lanes, synchronizing traffic lights and making the whole stretch between U.S. 1 and Silver Bluff Road one speed limit of 45 miles per hour.
That would save the City millions of dollars, which could then be transferred to the “maintenance of roads” account and used to fix the roads and bridges.