Highway Department Nears Goal for Roadwork

Kosciusko County Highway Department is pretty close to its goal for yearly paving and patching mileage, Superintendent Scott Tilden told the county council Thursday.
He said the department finished 67 miles of chip seal and 18 miles of paving this year, at a cost of about $10,000 per mile of the former and $100,000 for the latter. But “it would be nice to hit the 80-20 mark,” he added.
The work is funded almost entirely by the new wheel tax, County Commissioner Ron Truex pointed out from the audience. The tax has generated an average of $200,000 per month, Council President Bob Sanders said, while Tilden observed that without those funds he might not have gotten any sealing or paving done, since most of his regular budget went toward patching.
Tilden gave the numbers in response to a request from Councilman Doug Heinisch for some way to measure how efficiently his department is handling the new income.
Council approved Thursday an additional appropriation of $138,032 for the highway department for the purchase of bituminous material, which came from the October distribution of wheel tax money.
Also Thursday, council approved fund transfers for the county coroner, assessor   and other departments, largely to clear up payroll issues before the end of the year; and a $11,500 transfer in the highway department for the purchase of a hydrauling hammer attachment for the skid loader, which Tilden said will save wear and tear on the excavator when they have to tear through a road surface.
And council approved the following board appointments starting in 2016:
Alcohol and Tobacco Commission, Kenneth Johnson; Area Plan, Sanders; Kosciusko County Economic Development Commission, Jon Garber; Warsaw Economic Development, Sanders; KEDCo, Sanders; Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals, Brock Ostrom and Paul Reith; Redevelopment Commission, Garber and Bill Warren; Warsaw Community Development, Garber; Solid Waste, Tom Anglin; Wage Committee, Brad Tandy, Larry Teghtmeyer and Heinisch; Bowen Center, Garber; Kosciusko County Convention, Recreation & Visitor Commission, Jo Paczkowski; Bell Memorial Library, Sandi Schaefer; and Emergency Management Advisory Board, Bob Weaver.

(Story By The Times Union)