March 12, 2009

Mercer County puts road project on hold

The county was banking on big bank – but the funds fell short in the federal stimulus package, leaving them to abandon the shovel-ready summer project scheduled for County Road 20 west of Beulah.

In original estimates, county engineers were forecasting around $350,000 from President BarackObama’s $787 billion federal stimulus package for the project. The actual check came in written for $238,600, said Steve Mamer of Interstate Engineering.

"We need to determine if we have $110,000 laying around," Mamer said. "If we say we’re going to do it and we don’t, we lose (the funding). If we don’t have (additional) funding, the funds go into our kitty."

The "kitty," Mamer explained, was a federal aid account that could house the money until the project would be ready to roll.

"Let’s put it into our kitty, and save it for another year," Commission Chairman Lyle Latimer said.

"That was my feeling," Mamer said. "It’s not going to hurt us; we’re not going to lose it. It’s still money we wouldn’t have had. I think that’s all we can do."

The commission unanimously agreed to hold the project – and in the meantime stow away the federal funds.

In road issues, County Road Superintendent Roy Braun asked the commission if there were any policies in place regarding dead deer lying alongside roads. He recently received calls to pick up three deer north of Beulah, which he hauled to the county landfill.

"How did we get stuck with it," Braun asked. "It’s not bad if one or two, but I think this year we’ll have a problem with dead deer laying everywhere."

The Weather Network