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Meeker County approves seven-year highway plan

LITCHFIELD -- The Meeker County Commissioners approved a seven-year road construction plan this week that calls for utilizing $1.6 million in county-state highway aid next year.

The major project for 2011 is the grading and bituminous overlay of a three-mile stretch of County Road 27 east of Kingston.

The grading will likely be done next year and the overlay in 2012.

The remaining projects in the plan consist primarily of re-surfacing of roads located throughout the county, said Administrator Paul Virnig.

Although the state highway aid is about $200,000 more than it was 10 years ago, Virnig said bituminous cost $17 a ton at that time. Now it costs $49 a ton.

The county's $5.3 million budget includes a $1.6 million levy that's used primarily for road maintenance and equipment costs. The county budgets about $760,000 for engineering and administrative fees and $900,000 to maintain the shop, including fuel costs.

The county, which maintains all the township roads, receives about $400,000 in revenue from townships.

The County Board of Commissioners also agreed to hire an attorney who specializes in drainage ditch issues to help resolve a conflict with the state Department of Natural Resources regarding a permit to clean out County Ditch 18. The ditch is located on the southwest side of the county and flows into Pipe Lake.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

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