Commission buys machine to recycle roads to gravelThe Stutsman County Commission approved the purchase of rotary reclaimer designed to recycle paved roads into gravel during its meeting Tuesday. The action came after comments from Judy Graves of Ypsilanti, N.D., asking the commission to delay the decision.
By: Keith Norman, The Jamestown Sun
The Stutsman County Commission approved the purchase of rotary reclaimer designed to recycle paved roads into gravel during its meeting Tuesday. The action came after comments from Judy Graves of Ypsilanti, N.D., asking the commission to delay the decision.
“We’re concerned about purchasing this now,” Graves said. “There is no plan and there have been no public meetings to get people’s input on these road issues.”
Graves went on to announce the formation of a citizen’s committee to come up with a plan for future road maintenance.
“I will see right now where we stand,” she said. “If you delay the purchase of the recycling machine we know it may go up in cost but it will give us time to organize our response.”
Residents along County Road 62 and old Highway 10 were part of the planned organization, Graves said. All were unavailable to attend the commission meeting because of soybean harvesting.
“We have a couple of steps in the works,” she said in an interview after the meeting. “They’ve overspent their budget for equipment. We don’t have money for roads but they never question equipment purchases.”
Graves said meetings will be held at various locations in the county.
“We need to find out what criteria to use,” she said. “We need to prioritize which roads are used by the most people.”
The commission did not respond to Graves’ comments.
The commission approved the one bid from Butler Machinery for the recycling machine in the amount of $390,178. The county will likely exercise the option to finance the machine over a six-year period at 4.5 percent interest.
The county also approved a resolution authorizing the exploration of the idea for a 1 percent county sales tax. The measure could be placed on the ballot in June 2010.
“I want to bring the idea to the Jamestown/ Stutsman Development Corp. and the city of Jamestown to see if they’ll get behind it,” said Dale Marks, commission member. “The idea would be to institute a 1 percent sales tax with half the proceeds going to the county for roads and half going to the city for its infrastructure.”
The tax would be in addition to current 2 percent sales tax used for the school construction and jobs development.
“It’s going to be a tough sell because we already are high on the sales tax,” said Mark Klose, chairman of the commission. “But it’s either sales or property taxes and we’re high on property taxes too.”
In other action the county approved an excess levy of 9 mills on 13 townships that are behind in their payments to the county for road work.
“We can put on a 9 mill levy if the township doesn’t,” said Noel Johnson, chief operating officer of the county. “It amounts to about $15 on a quarter-section of land.”
Johnson said the county is currently owed $1.1 million from the townships. This is an increase from $755,000 at the beginning of 2009.
The commission also voted to deny a request to close two section lines in Griffin Township.
A request to relinquish a portion of Stutsman County’s Recovery Zone Facility Bond Allocation for a project in Dickey County was tabled.
“We have not been contacted by anyone about any projects in Stutsman County,” Johnson said. “But we could table it to see if there are any local people interested.”
The Recovery Zone Bonds are part of a Federal economic stimulus package. Stutsman County has $6.7 million in bonding authority that could be used by private businesses to acquire loans at an estimated rate of 3.5 to 4.5 percent.
During the Stutsman County Park Board meeting, the board approved a permit for the Polar Plunge held as a fundraiser for Special Olympics. The event was not held at the reservoir last year because heavy snow cover had kept the ice on the lake from forming to a safe thickness.
The park board also approved expenditures of up to $10,000 for road maintenance in the area of the cabins on the Jamestown Reservoir.
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at
(701) 952-8452 or by e-mail at email@example.com