A state-funded "driveway renewal" project is likely only a drop in the bucket of unnecessary projects in these days of budget austerity in Kansas.

As the State of Kansas reduces social services for its most needy citizens, at least a few local residents are benefitting from the state’s largesse.

Homeowners along recently resurfaced Highway 64 (aka Lake Road) are currently having a portion of their driveways paved over from the highway’s edge to property lines.

At least a few local homeowners are not overly excited about this project.

One woman who lives along Lake Road told me that she would rather not have her driveway paved, since the asphalt will be sticky and messy initially, due to the summer’s heat.

Another Lake Road homeowner recently informed me, “We didn’t ask for it.” He also questioned why the state is “wasting money” in this way.

That’s a question a lot of other Kansas residents are likely pondering these days. As the governor and state legislature reduce income taxes while attempting to keep the budget balanced, this “pave over” job using state funds seems to be a bit overboard for a nonessential service.

One can only speculate how many other similar projects around the state waste taxpayers’ money, while social services and education are being pared down. In the big picture, the Lake Road paving of private homeowners’ driveways is likely only a drop in the bucket. Certainly, officials with KDOT can point to policies and procedures that justify this expense, but is it really necessary?

That seems to be a question Governor Brownback and state legislators are asking frequently these days as they dam the state’s revenue stream.

Hopefully, citizens around the state will compose a blog or letter to the editor of their local newspapers about similar projects that benefit a few while impending tax cuts reduce essential services for the truly needy. That would make a good read, a true tragicomedy.