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County, townships discuss snow removal

By Staff | Jan 13, 2017

Assistance with snow removal efforts was one of several topics discussed Tuesday afternoon at the Memorial Hall in a meeting between Pierce County Commissioners and members of township boards.

Board of County Commissioners Chairman Dave Migler informed the township board members present that the county currently has $224,000 in its emergency fund-the fund could have $500,000 in it or a maximum of 15 mills. The county currently levies two mills for the emergency fund, but can levy up to six.

Migler asked if townships could contribute $1,000 to $1,500 for snow removal and the county would use monies from the emergency fund.

Migler and District 2 Commissioner Mike Christenson said that while there is no limit yet set on how much the county can use out of its emergency fund for snow removal, another emergency that could necessitate use of the fund could occur.

Jim Rott, of White Township, asked if the state would provide any funding for snow removal. Migler said he did not expect the state to provide funding.

Migler asked if there were any roads townships wanted to close to ease blade operators and hired contractors’ ability to get to and clear farm-to-market, bus, mail and one-way in/out routes and signs should be put up if roads are marked for closure. Migler said an estimated $16,000 is available from administrative fees from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for signs; the townships should let the Auditor know how many “no winter maintenance” or “road closed” signs would be needed; and that snow would be removed before thaw on closed roads.

Township members present agreed to contribute $1,500 for snow removal, and townships are to send bills to the county for removal work done by contractors.

The board and townships also discussed:

– Planning & zoning: Migler gave a reminder to townships that any plans for buildings that need to be moved or constructed must be turned in to Planning & Zoning Administrator Kelsey Siegler for permitting.

– Weed spraying: Dave Walker, of Walker Landscaping, had been in townships spraying weeds in the spring. Most of the townships felt “somewhat satisfied”, with one saying Walker had completed 70 percent of spraying. Members also said Walker should contact the chairpersons of each township as to when he’d be in their area.

– County shop costs: Migler informed the township members that costs incurred at the county shops increased by $158 per mile last year and that the current charge of $145 per mile for maintenance is lower than surrounding counties, who are charging $200 per mile.

“We’re doing this way too cheap,” Migler said.

Migler asked for comment on rates increasing by $20 per mile for the next three years; township members present agreed on the rate change, which will be $165 per mile for 2017.

Members from Tuscarora Township were not present at the meeting.

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