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County road maintenence costs going up

By Staff | Jan 14, 2010

The cost to maintain a mile of road in Pierce County is going up – again.

The Pierce County Commission met with organized township officials last week to inform them of a $10 increase this year in maintaining roads. The new rate is $105-per mile.

The continued high fuel rates, the rising costs of new maintainers and higher wages for machine operators were the reasons county officials had to again raise per-mile rates for the 15 organized townships. This is the second straight year a $10 increase was approved, according to Karin Fursather, county auditor.

The commission also discussed the need to budget more dollars to cover culvert replacement. In past years the commission has budgeted just $10,000, but last year alone spent $90,000.

That was due to widespread spring flooding which washed out several culverts and damaged roads. The heavy snow accumulation last winter was a factor in the severity of the flooding.

Culvert replacement won’t usually cost that amount, but commissioners want to set aside more funds annually.

County officials also went over the progress of road repairs associated with last year’s flooding. The county was part of a federal disaster declaration which allowed for state and federal funding to repair roads up to 97 percent. The county’s share of the repairs was three percent.

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