WALKER -- Cass County Engineer David Enblom told commissioners Tuesday highway crews have used as much salt on icy roads this year as it did all of last winter.
He said the county has exhausted this year's supply of salt.
He expected additional salt to be delivered Tuesday, he said.
Several townships have called the county to request salt or salt/sand, according to Enblom, who added, "We don't have extra to give them." Townships should plan ahead for their needs and place an order with the county in the summer or fall for the next winter's salt or salt/sand mixture if they want to purchase through the county in future years, he said.
The county board voted Tuesday to set a flat $75 per hour rate for county charges to townships for the use of county equipment and a county employee operator to work on township roads. Enblom noted in the past there have been different rates for different types of equipment, but all equipment cost the county about the same to replace now. Employee wages are the same no matter the equipment being operated, he added.
When employees doing work on township roads are working at overtime pay, the townships will be charged $90 per hour under the new rate policy. Often employees have worked a full workweek for the county before they have time to do work for townships, said Enblom.
The board voted to support the Association of Minnesota Counties highway funding legislative position, calling for gas tax increases to offset shortfalls for state and county highway construction and maintenance.
Without paving any additional roads, Enblom said, Cass could use another $3 million just to maintain and resurface existing blacktopped roads. Without funding increases to offset higher paving costs to overlay existing roads and to offset the impact increased truck traffic is having on existing paved roads, Enblom said counties could be looking at grinding up and returning to gravel surface some roads currently paved.
The board authorized Enblom to advertise for calcium chloride and additional road gravel for the 2005 summer road maintenance program.
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