By Scott Welton
CHARLESTON -- Rising asphalt prices will not have an effect on Mississippi County's resurfacing plans for this year. Adding in a bit more asphalt to the project will, however.
County commissioners discussed this year's blacktopping program during their regular meeting Thursday.
During their June 19 meeting, commissioners accepted a bid of $62,000 from Apex Asphalt for a 1-inch hot mix asphalt cap on about 1.1 miles of on Janie Lane, Margaret Drive and County Road 409, also known as County Line Road. The bid also included leveling and smoothing the roads and feathering the asphalt at driveway approaches.
The rate was not raised on this project but the total price will go up by $8,000 or $9,000 as commissioners agreed to ask for a thicker overlay in places heavy trucks turn and stop on a regular basis.
Commissioners also agreed to add in an overlay on Davis Street west of East Prairie which Presiding Commissioner Jim Blumenberg estimated should cost between $10,000 and $12,000.
In the northern part of the county roads "need serious patching," Commissioner Homer Oliver said, but no overlays.
The Port Authority Road in particular has many large potholes, Oliver said, although the potholes are not deep, generally just going a couple inches down to a layer of asphalt below the top layer.
Blumenberg suggested the county road and bridge department should send its hot patch machine and roller to address all the Port Authority Road's potholes and then, toward the end of August, put down sealing oil.
Commissioner Martin Lucas said the last time the Port Authority Road was resurfaced was in 1990.
In other business Thursday:
* The Mississippi County Detention Center has a new administrator, commissioners said.
John Haydenfeldt was hired by Sheriff Keith Moore to replace Butch McHaney who recently resigned from the position, according to county officials.
County Clerk Junior DeLay said McHaney did not offer a reason for his resignation but will continue working with the Detention Center as a transportation officer.
* Commissioners reviewed fuel expenditures and budgeted amounts for the road and bridge and sheriff's departments.
The road and bridge department has spent about $83,000 of its budgeted $120,000 in seven months, according to Blumenberg.
Over the same seven months, the sheriff's department has spent $21,338 of its budgeted $25,000, according to Blumenberg, putting it on pace to go $15,000 overbudget if fuel prices don't increase.
* Oliver provided an update on a project to lower a culvert on County Road 301.
As water was high on both sides of the culvert, crews closed the road and dug a trench alongside the culvert to lower the water level, according to Oliver, so they could better view the situation.
Also, water flow should clear earth alongside the culvert and make taking it out and moving it easier, Oliver said.
Oliver said he expects the project to be finished by early next week.
* After contracted mowing is complete on the Ash Slough Ditch, herbicide spraying will need to be done, according to Oliver.
The ditch bank is covered with "nothing but Johnson grass," Oliver said. "It's awful."