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Snow removal funding requests submitted for McLean County

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Snow removal funding requests submitted for McLean County

By BRENDA L. SHELKEY
BHG News Service
The incoming compliments have far outweighed the complaints from McLean County residents in regard to the snow removal by the county highway department. That is the word from county commissioners during their Feb. 3 meeting.
Commissioner Steve Lee told Highway Department Superintendent Ron Wagner and fellow commissioners, “I’ve had numerous positive comments from people about the job being done and the number of hours you are out there.”
Wagner reported that the county has private contractors with a dozen dozers and a snowblower out to clean certain portions of the more hard hit roads. He estimated that they had over $200,000 in dozers working. He also mentioned that the snowplows and blades have gone 36 days in a row.
Wagner and Todd Schreiner needed signatures for the state disaster paperwork. County Auditor Les Korgel said, “We need to have an applicant agent to handle the application on the state end and make the application.” Commissioners approved Ron Krebsbach as appropriate contact person or applicant agent for McLean County Commission.
Todd Schreiner told commissioners that they will have to file each month of January for 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 to receive a portion of the $120 million proposed for disaster relief. He explained that it would be distributed on a first come first served basis from the reserve.
Korgel added, “The snow removal policy is a month by month program, so if we get snow again in February, we can apply again. The problem or conflict with the funding is that the federal regulation is written for a 48-hour snow event, so that may see a change in wording.”
In related business, Wagner told commissioners that the new blade ran for a day and then broke down and is still shut down. He said, “We have three options: Do we want to fix it, go with the update or spend the money elsewhere?” Commissioners decided they will consider which option to use somewhere down the road.
Lee said, “We have good machinery and good operators taking care of our county roads. We have been really fortunate that local people are chipping in and helping out the county road department. The county to the east of us depends on the local farmers to do a lot more than what is required of our rural residents.”
Commissioner Julie Hudson-Schenfisch told Wagner, “I had a really good compliment about how you are doing.”
In other business, Korgel provided a handout, including a newsletter from the Friends of Lake Sakakawea. He explained that they introduced HB 1515, which recommends paving access roads to Lake Sakakawea.