By Emily Bialkowski
Houston County will spend just under $115,000 on product to resurface gravel roads in 2013. The county board awarded rock contracts April 23 to the low bidders.
Bruenig Rock Products came in with the low bid on every project at a total of $111,064 except the County Road 2 project, which fell to Milestone Materials for $3,510.
This year Wilmington Township joined the county on the bidding process and will have their roads resurfaced with product from Bruenig Rock for $47,994.
Tom Molling of the county highway department said rock is up about 40 cents a ton over the year prior.
County roads receiving due attention this year include: 5A, 5B, 8A, 8B, 11, 12, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 28, 32 and 249.
In a semi-related matter, Human Resources Director Tess Arrick-Kruger gave an update on repairs that need to be made at the county highway shop to meet OSHA requirements. The facility has fallen into a state of disrepair and received fines from OSHA on four accounts, including:
• Deteriorating ceiling in break room and vestibule
• Install second exit door in main shop
• Obstructed access when there are trucks in the bay with plows on
• Install emergency lighting throughout entire facility
Each item equals a $750 fine, but due to the county’s eagerness to respond to the issues, OSHA said they would drop the fine to $1,750.
Arrick-Kruger said she is working diligently with staff to have all the issues addressed by May 4. An estimate on the total cost of repairs was not available as of press time, though money to pay for the projects is available out of the commissioner’s fund as well as money the county has from land they lease.
Wildcat Park updates
During the commissioner comments portion of the county board meeting Commissioner Judy Storlie said the Wildcat Park committee is looking to improve the facilities.
“The bathrooms are really bad,” she said, adding that they are the number one project on the list for improvement.
Historically Wildcat Park has had years when it didn’t make enough money to sustain itself but the last few years have been prosperous with $22,000 earned in 2012.
The committee wants to earmark any profits made at the park for upgrades.
“That’s where I’d expect it to go,” Commissioner Steve Schuldt said.
County Finance Director Carol Lapham said the situation doesn’t meet the criteria for setting up a special fund but she could put Wildcat transactions as a separate line item in the budget.
“We just want to keep track of that money.” Commissioner Justin Zmyewski said.
No formal motion was made because the issue will be taken care of when Lapham presents a budget amendment for the park.