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Davison County spends $250K on gravel

The Davison County commissioners used half of the budget's contingency funds to purchase gravel for road maintenance.

The commissioners approved the purchase of 65,000 tons of gravel for county roads during their regular meeting Tuesday at the courthouse in Mitchell. The cost for the gravel is $258,050, and about $120,000 will be paid from the contingency budget.

That's nearly half of its contingency fund of $300,000, which is money that is set aside for emergencies or unexpected purchases.

The commissioners unanimously approved the motion, partially because it will build up enough of a gravel supply for through 2015, according to Highway Department Superintendent Rusty Weinberg.

"It's a good buy, and we always use gravel," commissioner Randy Reider said.

Because the commissioners approved the gravel purchase, the $200,000 that normally would be budgeted for gravel next year will not be needed, Weinberg said.

The county's road and bridge budget for 2014 is $2.855 million, nearly 11 percent less than the 2013 budget of $3.206 million. The county's budget year runs in line with the calendar year, from Jan 1. to Dec. 31.

The county is currently out of gravel, Highway Department Superintendent Rusty Weinberg said.

The gravel will come from three local pits and will be purchased at $3.97 per ton. That price is low, according to Weinberg. The low cost was the primary reason the county moved to purchase the gravel.

Weinberg said the county would be able to save money later by spending the money now. He explained as much as $60,000 could be saved.

The gravel will come from the local pits of Mike Johnson, Lewis Bainbridge and George Ryks. It is similar in quality to what the county has used in prior years.

Although the commissioners each approved the motion, there was some hesitancy prior to the vote.

"I hate that we spend more money that we don't have in the budget," said commissioner Gerald Weiss.

"We do have it," Kim Weitala responded. "It's just in our reserve fund and we have to decide if this is the time to buy."

Other business

• Denied a request from Harvey Kelley to put magnesium chloride on a one-mile stretch of 250th Street between 405th and 406th avenues for dust control. The commissioners said the road doesn't get enough traffic, and that they would work with Kelley to create an alternative for the problem.

• Accepted a check for $6,300 for the weed and pest budget, which was a reimbursement from the state.

• Approved the purchase of a new computer for the 4-H office at $749 from TechSolutions, of Mitchell.

• Approved, while meeting as the Davison County Board of Adjustment, a front-yard setback variance of 22 feet from homeowner Bonnie Orr in Prosper Township. The typical setback is 75 feet.

• Approved a plat change for Aaron and Mandy Gerlach for a lot in Rome Township on 265th Street.

• Approved a plat change for CJM Consulting Inc. for a lot in Perry Township, along 407th Avenue and north of Lake Mitchell.

• Authorized the highway department to get an end dump truck engine issue repaired, which could cost between $5,000 and $15,000. The highway department's repair budget has $22,000 remaining for the year.

• Heard an update regarding bridge inspections in the county, which are expected to occur in late July or August.

• Approved previous meeting minutes, bills and timesheets.