2023 - 2024 LEGISLATURE
June 14, 2023 - Offered by Representative Tranel.
SB247-ASA1,1,2 1An Act to amend 86.31 (2) (a); and to create 86.31 (1) (ao) and 86.31 (3o) of the
2statutes; relating to: an agricultural roads improvement grant program.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
SB247-ASA1,1 3Section 1. 86.31 (1) (ao) of the statutes is created to read:
SB247-ASA1,1,54 86.31 (1) (ao) “Eligible agricultural road project” means a project that is eligible
5for a grant under sub. (3o) (b).
SB247-ASA1,2 6Section 2. 86.31 (2) (a) of the statutes is amended to read:
SB247-ASA1,2,47 86.31 (2) (a) The department shall administer a local roads improvement
8program to accelerate the improvement of seriously deteriorating local roads and,
9under sub. (3o), of agricultural roads improvements
by reimbursing political
10subdivisions for improvements. The selection of improvements that may be funded
11under the program shall be performed by officials of each political subdivision,

1consistent with par. (h) and the requirements of subs. (3), (3g), (3m), (3o), and (3r).
2The department shall notify each county highway commissioner of any deadline that
3affects eligibility for reimbursement under the program no later than 15 days before
4such deadline.
SB247-ASA1,3 5Section 3. 86.31 (3o) of the statutes is created to read:
SB247-ASA1,2,106 86.31 (3o) Agricultural roads improvements. (a) 1. Any funds directed for
7agricultural roads improvements under this subsection shall be distributed as
8grants to reimburse political subdivisions for eligible agricultural road projects or
9expended for reimbursable costs by the department acting as a fiscal agent under
10par. (i).
SB247-ASA1,2,1611 2. The department shall prescribe the form, nature, and extent of information
12that shall be contained in applications for grants under this subsection. If the
13application is for a project to improve a class “B” highway, the department shall
14require the applicant to state when the highway was designated as a class “B”
15highway under s. 349.15. To the extent feasible, the department shall do all of the
SB247-ASA1,2,1717 a. Develop an application that does not exceed 2 pages in length.
SB247-ASA1,2,1918 b. Prescribe a simple and clear application process that is reasonably accessible
19to political subdivisions with limited staffing resources.
SB247-ASA1,2,2120 (b) An agricultural road project is not eligible for a grant under this subsection
21unless all of the following apply:
SB247-ASA1,2,2422 1. The project is to improve a highway functionally classified by the department
23as a local road or minor collector or a bridge or culvert on a highway functionally
24classified by the department as a local road or minor collector.
12. If the project is solely for the improvement of a bridge or culvert, the bridge
2or culvert is 20 feet or less in length and is not eligible for funding under a federal
3program providing funding for bridge improvements.
SB247-ASA1,3,64 3. The highway, bridge, or culvert under subd. 1. provides access to agricultural
5lands or facilities used for the production of agricultural goods, including forest
6products, and is used by at least one agricultural producer.
SB247-ASA1,3,107 4. The highway under subd. 1. or the highway upon which the bridge or culvert
8under subd. 1. is located is designated as a class “B” highway under s. 349.15 due to
9structural deficiencies or has been subject to a posted weight limitation for at least
10one month during the previous year.
SB247-ASA1,3,1411 5. After completion of the project, except as provided under par. (k), the
12highway under subd. 4. will not be designated as a class “B” highway under s. 349.15
13and will not be subject to a posted weight limitation other than under extraordinary
14or emergency circumstances.
SB247-ASA1,3,1615 6. The highway, bridge, or culvert under subd. 1. is maintained by a political
SB247-ASA1,3,2017 (c) In awarding grants under this subsection, subject to par. (d), the department
18and the committee under par. (j), with information from affected highway users, shall
19select projects that provide the greatest benefit to agricultural producers in this state
20using the following criteria:
SB247-ASA1,3,2321 1. Projects that improve access by the largest number of agricultural producers
22to agricultural lands or facilities used for the production of agricultural goods,
23including forest products.
SB247-ASA1,3,2524 2. Projects that will result in reduction of any of the following for agricultural
1a. Repeated trips at reduced weights.
SB247-ASA1,4,22 b. Labor costs.
SB247-ASA1,4,33 c. Fuel costs.
SB247-ASA1,4,44 d. Mileage upon and damage to equipment used in agricultural production.
SB247-ASA1,4,75 e. Costs other than those in subd. 2. a. to d. resulting from a highway being
6designated as a class “B” highway under s. 349.15 or being subject to a posted weight
7limit under other than extraordinary or emergency circumstances.
SB247-ASA1,4,118 3. Projects that will result in the greatest positive economic impact. Under this
9subdivision, the department and the committee shall consider the number of
10employees and the amount of agricultural product sales from agricultural producers
11that would be directly affected by the project.
SB247-ASA1,4,1312 4. Projects for which the access provided under par. (b) 3. is the only feasible
13access to the lands or facilities.
SB247-ASA1,4,1614 5. Projects that are the subject of a grant application by a political subdivision
15that faces demonstrable fiscal or administrative difficulties in completing highway
SB247-ASA1,4,1817 6. Projects that will result in the transportation of the largest amount of
18agricultural goods, including forest products.
SB247-ASA1,4,2119 7. Projects that improve access to agricultural lands or facilities used for the
20production of agricultural goods, including forest products, for more than one
21agricultural producer.
SB247-ASA1,4,2322 (d) The department shall attempt to award grants under this subsection to
23political subdivisions in all geographic areas of the state.
SB247-ASA1,4,2524 (e) The department may make grants under this subsection of up to 90 percent
25of reimbursable costs.
1(f) Reimbursable costs under this subsection include any costs related to an
2eligible agricultural road project, including costs of initial plan design and
3engineering, planning, designing, engineering, and construction of an eligible
4agricultural road project.
SB247-ASA1,5,85 (g) Notwithstanding sub. (4), upon request by a political subdivision for partial
6payment not more frequently than quarterly, the department shall reimburse any
7reimbursable costs incurred by the political subdivision for an eligible agricultural
8road project.
SB247-ASA1,5,119 (h) A political subdivision may pay for or otherwise obtain engineering and
10design work for a project funded by a grant under this subsection from the
11department or from another source.
SB247-ASA1,5,1612 (i) Upon request by the grantee, the department shall be designated as a fiscal
13agent of a grantee for the purposes of a project funded by a grant under this
14subsection. If acting as a fiscal agent under this paragraph, the department shall,
15upon request, pay reimbursable costs for an agricultural road project when incurred
16and retain or receive grant moneys as reimbursement for these payments.
SB247-ASA1,5,2417 (j) The department shall establish a committee to review grant applications
18and award grants under this subsection. The committee shall consist of members
19appointed by the secretary, have geographically diverse representation, and include
20as members representatives of agricultural industries and political subdivisions
21with jurisdiction of highways, bridges, or culverts that are eligible for grants under
22par. (b). The secretary or designee shall serve as a nonvoting member of the
23committee. The committee members shall serve a term equal to the duration of the
24program under this subsection.
1(k) Notwithstanding ss. 349.15 (2) and 349.16 (1), no highway, bridge, or culvert
2improved under this subsection may be designated as a class “B” highway under s.
3349.15 or be subject to a posted weight limitation other than under extraordinary or
4emergency circumstances unless the political subdivision having jurisdiction of the
5highway, bridge, or culvert obtains a pavement or structural analysis performed by
6a professional engineer or the county highway commissioner for the county in which
7the highway, bridge, or culvert is located supports the weight limitation and certifies
8to the department the reason for the weight limitation.
SB247-ASA1,6,179 (L) By July 1, 2025, and annually thereafter, the department in consultation
10with the department of agriculture, trade and consumer protection shall submit a
11report on the program under this subsection to the joint committee on finance and
12the standing committee of each house of the legislature having jurisdiction over
13transportation. The report shall provide the number and total amount of grants
14awarded, and an estimate of the economic impact of projects funded, under this
15subsection during the previous year and over the lifetime of the program. The
16department of transportation is not required to submit a report under this paragraph
17if no expenditures were made under this subsection in the previous year.
SB247-ASA1,6,1918 (m) 1. After 3 years after the effective date of this subdivision .... [LRB inserts
19date], the department may not award a grant under this subsection.
SB247-ASA1,6,2120 2. After 5 years after the effective date of this subdivision .... [LRB inserts date],
21the department may not reimburse any costs incurred under this subsection.
SB247-ASA1,6,2322 (n) Except as provided in pars. (k) and (m) 2., this subsection does not apply
23after 5 years after the effective date of this paragraph .... [LRB inserts date].