Commissioners cost share with road commission for tornado damage
LAKE COUNTY — After taking a financial hit from the Aug. 28 storm for cleanup projects, the Lake County Road Commission was pleasantly surprised when the Lake County Board of Commissioners approved to replenish the road commission budget with the sum of $100,000. During the commissioner meeting last Wednesday, commissioners approved cost sharing with the road commission to compensate funds used toward cleanup and repairs.
When the cost of storm damage kept accumulating, Lake County Road Commission Manager Steve Leonard was concerned about not having enough money for road projects throughout the county, and maintenance in general, but with the extra funds provided by the county, his worries have been relieved.
“I cannot say enough thanks to the commissioners and county administrator Tobi Lake. They didn’t have to help us out. This shows how dedicated they are to the public and to the road commission,” Leonard said.
The overall damage cost the road commission $300,000, but with cost sharing, the village of Baldwin, who hires the road commission will supply $50,000 and the county provided $100,000, leaving the road commission with $150,000 of the expense.
“I think this is amazing,” Leonard said. “When people see commissioners on the street, someone ought to thank them. This funding helps in the long run for winter maintenance and summer projects. This allows us to keep projects in 2019 going and keep the winter budget whole.”
Commissioners were happy to help the road commission out.
“The road commission went above and beyond taking care of restoration efforts,” said Commissioner Karl Walls. “They didn’t take a weekend off. We appreciate that and support them 100 percent.”
Leonard said he is amazed how all the community is pulling together.
“Good came out of this whole disaster by showing the relationships we are building in the community from the sheriff’s office, private contractors who helped with clean up and people who provided assistance and shelter. At the school, the new superintendent really stepped up to the plate with the designated shelter. On behalf of the road commission, I am grateful for all their contributions,” Leonard added.
Leonard said cleanup as a whole is finished, but they still are doing repairs on an individual basis.
“A lot of trees are still coming down from being weakened,” he said. “Two weeks ago 15 trees came down from Bass Lake Road to 10 Mile Road. For the most part, we are in pretty good shape.”