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  • Last modified 25 days ago (Nov. 16, 2017)

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Asphalt coming today to 330th Rd.

Becker brings constituent idea for rock roads

Staff writer

Today marks a black day for 330th Rd. — a blacktop day.

Darin Neufeld of EBH Engineering said asphalt laying was scheduled to start this morning at the McPherson County line with concrete base mixing finishing at the other end of the 8-mile stretch.

Weather permitting, asphalt laying will catch up with concrete mixing after it has properly hardened. Forecasts predict daytime temperatures in the upper 50s for much of the week.

Two 1.5-inch runs will build up the 3-inch blacktop. The second asphalt application will include 10 feet into home driveways and into the right of way on side roads.

A hill was cut down to improve driver visibility at the request of area residents. Otherwise, there have not been any community complaints, Neufeld said.

Ditch work may not look ideal yet, Neufeld said, but will look better with rainfall and as more work is done. Vegetation balls are scattered through what otherwise look like great ditches.

“Aesthetically, that might be the worst look of the project,” he said.

Road striping may be threatened by weather, which could force it to be done in the spring.

“The only thing that might be a weather holdup right now when we get to the end of the project is the striping,” Neufeld said. “If we start getting into really cold temperatures, we might have to hold off on the striping until we see a window or until the spring. I don’t want to do that, but we might have to.”

Stone stockpiles

A constituent’s suggestion made its way to the road and bridge department: building a strategic stockpile of rock in the county for road maintenance.

Commissioner Kent Becker brought the idea to Monday’s commission meeting, with road and bridge employee Jesse Smith standing in for supervisor Jesse Hamm, who was on vacation.

Becker said better-quality rock could maybe be purchased at a lower price if the county contracted out back-hauling from an Ottawa location, and stockpiled the rock throughout the county for when it is needed.

“We’re hauling load after load after load out of the quarry,” he said. “Would it make sense to have some of that delivered and strategically stocked in the areas that we know are high-traffic, high-volume areas that the rock we use just doesn’t last?”

Commissioner Randy Dallke said that question has been raised before.

Becker suggested contracting at a good price and finding a local person to back-haul better rock.

“Even if we could do some short stretches with good stuff on the high volume areas,” he said.

Dallke said the county should try it if it means roads will last longer.

“Would it not then just be better to buy better stuff?” commissioner Dianne Novak asked. “I mean, why even waste our time and money on the stuff that’s no good.”

Commissioners directed Smith to have Hamm look into options before the next meeting.

Commissioners accepted three transport fuel bids from Cooperative Grain and Supply in Hillsboro for $18,282.50 total, even though an E10 fuel bid was $1.80 cheaper from Epps in Elbing. Fuel is used by the road and bridge department.

Dump truck purchase

Two commissioners approved paying a higher rate on a lease-purchase already agreed upon from the summer. Commissioners silently read an email — which was not presented publicly — before Dallke recused himself, saying he was a customer of the bank in question.

The lease-purchase for a dump truck was obtained through bidding in during the summer, but there was a delivery delay and an invoice was not received until now, during which rates rose. The bank asked for a higher rate on the lease-purchase.

“Basically, they are saying that because so much time has passed and because rates have changed so much, they would want to increase their rate on the purchase,” Spencer said.

Novak and Becker approved the higher 2.55 percent rate with Cottonwood Valley Bank, noting the new rate was still below all other bids from the summer.

Last modified Nov. 16, 2017

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