Cass County Road Commission newsPublished 9:25am Friday, October 7, 2011
Trucks replace tractors
plowing around lakes
Authorization to spend up to $28,000 was approved by the Cass County Road Commission to buy a truck equipped with salting and sanding equipment for use on streets around Cass County’s lakes.
Road crews have been using three farm tractors for that purpose, but they generally are considered too slow and do not have the sanding and salting equipment attached, said Louis Csokasy, road commission manager.
One smaller-sized truck already has been purchased from the City of Dowagiac and the road commission is still shopping for a third one, he said.
Road sign replacement
Although a federal law requiring replacement of all county road signs with reflectivity signs between 2016 and 2018 is expected to be delayed, Cass County Road Commission will go ahead with work it has scheduled.
Plans are to change out all stop signs and yield signs in the county and then only replace signs on an as-needed basis, depending on what changes the federal law is expected to allow.
All stop signs have been replaced with reflectivity signs this year in Volinia, Marcellus and Newberg townships and soon will be completed in Penn Township.
These townships had the least amount of signs to replace because of less roads, population and traffic.
Cost of the stop signs for those townships is $9,850, or $32 per sign.
Brush spraying complete
Road crews have completed roadside spraying this fall in Howard, Jefferson, Milton and Ontwa townships.
Roadside spraying in four townships was completed in 2010, meaning that the initial phase of the spraying project is half complete.
The road commission is investing approximately $160,000 in the work in an effort to improve sight lines along the county’s roadways in addition to increasing operational efficiency.
The number of requests by county residents to fix problems along the roads has remained steady of the past year, according to Csokasy.
The top service request in July this year was fallen trees, which was driven by weather-related activity.
In 2010, fallen trees were the number-one complaint during June.
The major complaint for this fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, was potholes, whereas in 2010, the major complaint involved fallen trees.
The number of requests dropped slightly this year, to 1,228, compared to 2010, when 1,296 requests were received. However, a new area allowing residents to give positive feedback was added to the tracking charts, which actually increased the total of requests received, said Csokasy.
Crews have become more efficient at handling requests, the manager said, in that the number handled in the first week received increased each year for the last four years since the program was initiated.