Road chief seeks bigger budget
Road and bridge supervisor Jesse Hamm gave county commissioners a preview Thursday of his upcoming budget request.
He hopes for substantial increases for work on roads and bridges.
Hamm said he wants $300,000 for gravel for up to 20 roads. He estimates gravel costs nearly $15,000 per mile of road. The 2018 budget line item for gravel was $200,000.
He also asked for $350,000 to replace two bridges during 2019.
Chip-sealing roads has been a recent topic of discussion between Hamm and commissioners. On Thursday, he said he’d like $719,292 to chip-seal 50 miles of road over four years.
Hamm said he wants to know whether county commissioners are on board with spending more money on roads. He wants to be lenient on budget increases.
“People don’t want their taxes to be raised,” Hamm said.
Commission chairman Dianne Novak said she frequently heard from people concerned about roads, and noted that taxpayers wondered whether their money was spent properly.
Commissioner Kent Becker suggested the road and bridge department prioritize hands-on training of employees.
Commissioners made no commitment to the increased funding Hamm requested.