Road commission staying ahead of weather conditions

Published 7:09 pm Monday, December 23, 2013

The additional road crews appear to be making an impact on Cass County roads, according to the most recent report by the county’s road commission during Thursday’s board of commissioner’s meeting.

The highlights of the road commission’s last meeting were read to the rest of the board by Commissioner Roseann Marchetti, who represents District 4. According to her report, the commission’s fleet of vehicles has done a successful job of clearing the county’s roads following the recent snowfalls.

“There were a few complaints, but they felt they were on top of it, especially because they worked over the weekends,” Marchetti said.

The commission reported during the previous board of commissioners meeting that they were adding four crews to work on Saturdays and Sundays, proactively seeking out and clear potential road hazards. In addition, the weekend workforce is repairing patches of roads whenever necessary.

“A number of other counties are not working over the weekends, and that’s caused some very serious problems for those particular communities,” Marchetti said.

Despite the additional work, the commission is running with about the same amount of cash flow as last year, Marchetti said. The commission has run into revenue issues over the last several years, forcing them to reduce the size of their crew by nearly half.

A report from the county transportation authority was also given to the board Thursday. According to Marchetti, the organization is seriously considering a merger with the Dowagiac Dial-a-Ride service, which was discussed during their last meeting on Dec. 11. The merger would provide them with a number of cost saving discounts, Marchetti said.

The board of commissioners also approved the recent hire of Angie Steinman as the county’s new finance director during Thursday’s meeting. The board also approved a new contract for the administrator/controller.