Archived Story

Road Commission sculpts $7.4 million budget

Published 8:43am Thursday, September 24, 2009

By NORMA LERNER
Dowagiac Daily News

CASSOPOLIS – Cass County Road Commission recently held a public hearing on the 2009-10 proposed budget.

It was explained by Manager Louis Csokasy that the budget next year includes hiring six part-time workers to help with summer paving projects.

He said this year 60 miles of roads were resurfaced, 22 of those being primary roads with chip and seal.

He said next year 48 miles of roads will be rehabilitated with more asphalt and less chip and seal.

Next year plans call for a special group to handle service requests, he said.

On the revenue side of the budget, Csokasy said most of the $6.8 million is from projects.
He said the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians has a large road project it is undertaking.

“We are ready and willing to do it.” Csokasy said.

The budget shows $6,812,223 in revenues and expenditures of $7,441,424. The projected deficit, $629,201, will be taken from the $1.3 million fund equity.

Csokasy said there is a 2-percent increase in fringes and other administrative expenses. No more staff hiring will be done in the office. There are currently 10 office employees.

There is also a 2-percent cost increase built into the budget for inflation.

Csokasy noted that the bridge on Sink Road in Pokagon Township over the Dowagiac River was built in 1963 and is listed as a critical bridge but has never been selected for funding.

He said the Pokagon Band hopes to get funding for it in 2011-12.

If so, there will be 80 percent funding for the bridge, costing about $960,000.

He said the road commission would probably contribute 20 percent to the cost, or about $200,000, and the township possibly could kick in 5-10 percent.

“If we can get a $1million bridge for $200,000, I think it’s a bargain,” he said. Csokasy said the bridge is weight restricted right now at 21 tons.

A contract was approved for Milton Township to surface Surges Road at $48,797.

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