Road Commission roundup

Published 7:54 pm Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Road commission maintaining sheriff’s fleet
The Cass County Road Commission and the Cass County Sheriff’s Department have entered into a maintenance agreement that benefits both parties. The agreement calls for road commission crews to provide oil changes at $10 each for the sheriff department’s 45- to 50-vehicle fleet.
Any other repairs are charged at $45 an hour with all parts and supplies billed directly to the sheriff’s department each month. As per the contract, the agreement can be canceled at any time at the discretion of either party.

Redfield Bridge bid opening set
Bids on the construction and new launch site for the Redfield Street Bridge will be opened on April 6 in Lansing with construction targeted for mid-May, officials with the Cass County Road Commission said. Redfield Street between Adamsville Road in Ontwa Township and Cassopolis Road in Mason Township will be closed to through traffic during construction. The expected re-opening date is Aug. 24. The project, with an estimated cost of $791,000, includes the construction of a non-motorized launch and parking area, which will be maintained by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment.
One-half acre of land on the southwest side of the bridge has been donated for the launch site by George Bucklen of Bristol, Ind.. Bucklen is the great-great grandson of George Redfield, who moved to Cass County in 1835 and for whom Redfield Street is named. Redfield was elected treasurer of Michigan in 1844 and once owned 10,000 acres of land in the county.

Brush and spraying program continues
Jail inmates with the Cass County Sheriff’s Department work-release program continue to work this winter to clear brush on gravel roads in Marcellus, Volinia, Penn and Newberg townships. Spraying will be done in the fall of this year in the road right-of-ways on those roads cleared for safety and line-of-sight purposes.
The brush and spraying program began in 2011 and, the cost is shared by the sheriff’s department and the Cass County Road Commission in this innovative program.

Brochures about millage available
Voters are reminded that brochures explaining the request for the 1 mill proposal that will be on the ballot in Cass County on Feb. 28 are available at no charge from the Cass County Road Commission headquarters, in all branches of the Cass District Library at the Cass County Building and in all township halls.
The road commission is asking voters to approve a levy of one mill on the taxable value of properties for five years to raise $1.8 million for maintenance of primary roads.
Of the amount, $1.6 million each year will go to the road commission with the remainder distributed by law to the cities of Niles and Dowagiac and the Villages of Cassopolis, Edwardsburg, Vandalia and Marcellus.