Proposed secondary roads budget mostly unchanged from current year

County engineer Wade Weiss is planning ahead for work on the Highway 30 overpass at Grand Junction, slated for 2018. The $6.7 million project will be completed by the Iowa Department of Transportation, but the detour route uses seven miles of County Road E-26 through Dana.

In presenting his budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1 to the county board of supervisors last week, Weiss named the roadway maintenance projects on the docket. Included is patching of E-26 in preparation of the detour using farm-to-market funds. He also plans to patch County Road P-14 from 150th St on the south edge of Churdan all the way to County Road E-63 (330th St) near the south county limit.

Another project includes stabilizing the pilings on the bridge on 110th St (the “Adaza pavement) in Highland Township.

The proposed budget names expenditures for roadway maintenance totaling $1,984,355, up about $104,000 (5.6 percent) from the current year. The maintenance budget includes bridges and culverts, roads, snow and ice control, traffic controls (painting and signage), and clearing right-of-ways and shoulders of trees and brush. Most of the total increase over last year is in the roads budget line.

The budget calls for an increase of $134,000 in general roadway expenditures. Weiss included the net cost of replacing a 1994 motor grader that is used in Greenbrier and Franklin Townships. He will be able to get $100,000 trade-in on the gross purchase price of $364,000. Secondary roads will retrofit two lift groups on the snowplows, and replace the boxes on two dump trucks.

Fuel cost is in the general roadway budget section. Weiss decreased that line by $214,000 due to the decrease in cost of gasoline and diesel fuel. Last year fuel cost averaged $3.14. He has fuel bids of $2.11 for the spring and $2.19 for the fall. Weiss noted “a substantial savings.” He also said the relatively light snowfall will require secondary roads to haul less gravel in the spring, also saving money.

Weiss added to the budget line item for tools, materials and supplies to add a shearer to the welding shop. He also added $100,000 to the real estate and buildings line item to add space to the county’s welding shop. The county purchased an overhead crane from Parker Industries when it went out of business, but the crane has been in storage since then. Installing the crane would allow more fabrication to be done in the county shop, Weiss said. The welding shop is located at the main shop in Jefferson, just south of the railroad tracks between Maple and Pinet Streets.

The real estate and building line also reflects a $300,000 underground storage tank clean-up project at the shop, but the entire cost will be reimbursed by the state. The $300,000 is also shown on the revenue page of the budget.

The total proposed secondary roads budget for FY 2016 is $5,502,893; revenues and expenditures are budgeted to be equal. On the revenue side, $1.1 million will come from property tax levies and $175,000 will come from the local option sales tax.

The current estimated budget for the year ending June 30 is $5,241,226. Disregarding the $300,000 pass through for the storage tank project, the secondary roads budget reflects a decrease of about $33,000.

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