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Townships receive updates at county meeting

By Staff | Jan 24, 2014

Officers from all but two townships met with the Pierce County Board of Commissioners in special session on Jan. 17 to discuss roads and county shops.

Chairman Duane Johnston informed the gathering of about 30 that all reflective signs on farm-to-market roads must be in place by January, 2015. The county was asked about minimum maintenance signs and the townships will be informed whether the deadline applies to those signs too.

Some representatives expressed concern about not being notified by Dave Walker, as to when he sprays in their respective townships. District 1 Commissioner Joe Bohl clarified that spraying of road right of way does include trees that aren’t near a farmstead.

Township officials received handouts detailing the costs for 2013 and the proposed increases. Costs for county shops rose 23 percent from last year and the commissioners proposed a $15 increase for blading and snow removal per township certified mile. The cost was $130 last year. Ken Schaan, Balta Township, did not agree with that increase and Brad Bachmeier, Alexanter Township, proposed going up only $10 per certified mile. Any increase will have to be approved at the next regular meeting.

Other representatives voiced interest in having disks added in front of blades in order to break up gravel along shoulders and spread it along the roads.

District 5 Commissioner David Migler said using disks will take more time. Troy Voeller, Reno Valley Township, proposed having two miles disked in each township per year in hopes that all roads could be handled in that manner within five years.

County auditor Karin Fursather informed the townships that some will not receive the 2011 FEMA Funds until further work is completed. FEMA grouped some townships into large project while other work was done on a township-specific basis. Fursather requested that townships bring bills with a map, so she can transfer FEMA funds.

Johnston reminded the townships that a permit is required by the zoning regulations for any building in the county. He also stated that rising culvert costs may lead to a cost share being implemented, if culverts are larger than 24 inches in diameter.

Migler spoke about three road projects to be completed this year with state funding. Those include reshaping and graveling from N.D. 3 east three miles in Silva; pavement overlay from N.D. 17 north three miles to the county line; and reshaping and graveling eight miles west and five miles south of Rugby on the Orrin farm-to-market road.

At the end of the meeting, Bohl urged farmers to adhere to the state’s road regulations and stop hauling grain, hay and equipment past 1 p.m. Roads are more easily damaged at that time of day when ice thaws.

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