Marshall County now has a five-year road plan, but it may be a bit of time before funding is found to put it into action.
During this week’s Marshall County Commissioners meeting, the county’s Highway Department re-addressed the plan. Marshall County is currently operating on a two-year chip and seal plan that hopes to maintain road standards for the time being.
Highway Department staff has requested additional funding to improve the quality of the county’s roadways for several months, now. Administrator Laurie Baker says their Motor Vehicle Fund costs have been in-line with state funding increases.
“It only went up $600-thousand. Well when we broke down, by Township, four miles of paved and four miles of chip-and-sealed roads it’s going to take about $523-thousand,” says Baker. “We’ve increased $600-thousand over the two years where the state is giving you a little more money.”
At their previous meeting, the Highway Department presented both a five-year and a more ambitious 10-year road plan.
According to the discussion during Tuesday’s meeting, the five-year plan lays out an ideal revenue scenario for completing work to the roadways. Issues are being faced in the areas of health insurance and salary increases in addition to the materials issues, making work to the roadways relatively more difficult.
Baker says equipment costs are another consideration.
“We’re experiencing breakage in trucks and tractors and it’s getting to the point on some of those that the cost to fix is more than what the vehicle, or the tractor, is worth,” says Baker.
Warnings about the weather patterns indicate a spring and summer spent repairing potholes.
The County Commissioners agreed that the five-year road plan adds onto the two-year plan already in place. The Board approved the five-year plan pending an additional funding source.