Commissioners discuss $900,000 opt-out

Residents in Turner County may have the opportunity to take the $900,000 opt-out to a vote pending the commissioner’s resolution approval.

Turner County Auditor Shelia Hagemann explained during last week’s meeting the deadline for the county to consider an opt-out is July 15. By the time all the meetings are held, the county adopts the resolutions, which needs to be published 20 days in the paper, the people could take it to a vote.

Highway Superintendent Kent Austin gathered information from his records to help justify the Turner County opt-out. He collected the numbers from 2015, 2016 and projected 2017 on what exactly the county spent on the overlay with various patching.

According to his records in 2015, the county poured 16.5 miles in overlay and spent $903,000. In 2016 18 miles of overlay was set with various patching for a total of $894,000. He is projecting 23 miles in 2017.

“You can see where that $900 comes in right on the mat overlay,” said Austin.

“Are we looking at $900 or are we looking at a different amount?” asked Commissioner Ron Globke.

Hagemann noted the county could keep the $900,000 opt-out or choose to go above that amount. It doesn’t mean the county has to use it all.

“I don’t have a problem with $900,000,” said Globke.

“You will use it all up,” stated Commissioner Steve Schmeichel.

“We came along way in three years and another five isn’t going to hurt,” noted Austin.

He continued, “I know right now it’s designated for mat overlay.”

Hagemann replied, “It’s actually for road and bridge purposes. It doesn’t necessarily have to go for mat overlay.”

Austin noted he has received more calls and compliments about the roads that have been paved over the years. Until those roads are caught up, he suggested the county keeps the opt-out the way it is then starts looking at bridges.

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