Road Commission workers may be called back

Published 7:38 am Saturday, April 22, 2006

By By NORMA LERNER / Niles Daily Star
CASSOPOLIS - It is looking as if the Cass County Road Commission workers who have been laid-off are planned to be called back to work in May.
Cass County Engineer-Manager Joseph Bellina III was in meetings Thursday afternoon to set up a start date with personnel staff after meeting with the road commission Thursday morning.
Road commissioners discussed that until things begin to pick up, no major purchases will be made.
There was close to $100,000 saved when 13 workers were laid off in February.
About $323,000 was earned last month, when the road commission sold off 12 lots from property it didn't use anymore, mostly at lakes.
The road commissioners also discussed coming up with more money, since it cannot continue to sell off property.
However, there are two homes for sale owned by the road commission when it bought property on Fox Street for a gravel pit.
And there is more land for sale, 60 acres north of the railroad tracks on Gards Prairie Road.
Bellina said there are several farmers interested in the property.
“I think the sale of properties and with other measures taken, the money problem has gone away short-term but will come back in November. I don't see any reason why we cannot make arrangement to sell (60 acres), find a buyer or sell it to an individual,” Bellina said.
The board also talked about getting funds to maintain roads with a road-tax millage.
Chairman Robert Powers said, “We can't keep on selling property.” Board member Roger Bowser suggested looking at cutting expenses before going after millage.
County Commissioner Gordon Bickel Sr. of Constantine asked about a drainage problem on Sunset Street south of the former fire department in Porter Township.