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Commissioners discuss roads, jail

Staff writer

Marion County Commission discussed the need to set priorities for road maintenance Monday at a special work session.

The commissioners agreed a well-defined plan is needed for road maintenance.

“When the weather breaks, we need to know what we’re going to do,” Commissioner Dan Holub said.

The cost of oil for road repairs shot up when crude oil prices rose, but it hasn’t fallen as quickly as crude prices in recent months, said road and bridge superintendent John Summerville.

“It goes up in a hurry, but it comes down real slow,” he said.

Commissioners discussed the condition of roads throughout the county, including 190th Road, formerly U.S.-56, between Marion and Hillsboro.

Holub questioned the need to keep it as a blacktop road when U.S.- 56 runs parallel, about a mile north of it. Every dollar spent maintaining it is a dollar not spent on maintaining or improving other roads in the county.

Commissioner Randy Dallke said it might be the county road with the most traffic.

“Something is going to have to change my mind to not save that road,” Dallke said.

In other business:

  • With sheriff-elect Rob Craft, the commissioners discussed how to approach the county jail. The commissioners agreed it would be best to let Craft get settled in as sheriff before deciding what to do about the jail. That makes a ballot issue in the April elections an unlikely prospect, commission chairman Bob Hein said. The next countywide election after April is November 2010. The county also could hold a special election, costing around $10,000 or $12,000. The creation of a 12-15 member committee to consider possibilities also was discussed.

Last modified Dec. 3, 2008

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