FOLEY -- Benton County drivers will get some better roads in the future after county commissioners approved a half-percent local option sales tax for transportation projects. The board approved the sales tax to fund road and bridge projects that aren't funded by state or federal dollars.

County Administrator Monty Headley they worked with the University of Minnesota Extension Office on a study that showed about a third of sales tax dollars collected in the county are generated by non-residents.

Headley says they've identified 36 projects at an estimated cost of $35-million which means the sales tax will be in place for approximately 18 years before sunsetting.

Headley says at this time, commissioners plan to maintain the $20 wheelage tax which is collected when you renew your license tabs. He says that money is also needed to fund road projects and maintain county ditches.

Benton County has about 450 miles of roads, half of which don't qualify for state or federal funding.

The additional half-cent will be collected beginning October 1st.

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