Valley County’s Highway Superintendent is concerned about the county road department’s aging road equipment. Jay Meyer told the supervisors this Tuesday morning that they have a 1993 Caterpillar Road Grader that has the transmission out. Meyer said this same grader had transmission work done at about 10,000 hours and now at 13,000 hours the transmission has failed again. Meyer said they also have two John Deere graders, one from 1987 and one from 1989. Meyer said those machines had not had any major work done but they are getting up in hours and could face major repairs in the future. He said he has been looking at trading one of those machines from the 80′s during the next budget year on a 2004 Cat grader. Meyer said he was looking for input from the County Supervisors on the equipment situation. Helen Cullers suggested he look at a multi-year plan to upgrade the road department’s aging equipment fleet.
In other road department news, Superintendent Jay Meyer said his department is over budget by 13,000 dollars on gravel this year with more gravel needed. He said however his overall budget looks like it will be OK. He told the supervisors that he felt he had enough budget to order more gravel. One of the things helping this year’s budget were fuel prices that ran lower than the budget allowed for.
County Weed Superintendent, Darrell Kaminski, also joined in on a discussion of spraying roadside ditches for weeds. The road department has done this in the past but new regulations do not allow the road crew to spray restricted chemicals without certification. Someone can spray under Darrell Kaminski’s license but only for 60 days once in a lifetime. Road department personnel will spray this year under Kaminski’s license but then the road personnel will get certified next year.