Peabody street project prompts discussion on county policy

The Marion County Commission met Thursday in special session to approve $10,500 in county money to be spent on street resurfacing from the bridge to the railroad tracks inside the City of Peabody.

The project, which may cost nearly $25,500-with the city picking up the rest of the tab-led to a discussion on developing a policy for when and how the county will aid cities on street projects.

Commissioner Randy Dallke and Road and Bridge Director Jim Herzet had met the night before with the Peabody City Council to make an agreement for a 24-foot wide, 2-inch overlay that would thin by an inch to the street edges.

Dallke thanked the other commissioners for coming in for the special meeting.

Although the Peabody agreement dated back to decisions made in the 1970s, Commissioner Dan Holub said it points out a need to develop policies for when other cities ask for help. He noted that the county doesn’t have sufficient funds for roads anyway.

The commissioners, in consultation with County Clerk Carol Maggard, determined that money for the Peabody project probably could come from engineering over-estimated funds on other surfacing contracts.

A company on another county project in the area is paying penalties for going past start date that could lead to it doing work on the Peabody project from such funds, they said.

Holub said Marion would like help on Eisenhower Road coming into the east side of the city, and the county already has helped on Industrial Road in Hillsboro.

“The next project might not be $10,000, but it might be something like a culvert in Durham,” Holub said.

The commissioners noted that when the Durham-Lincolnville Road was hard-surfaced last time, the work carried through to include the Lincolnville Main Street to U.S. Highway 77.

Holub suggested asking school bus drivers and mail carriers to report county road damage to assist the county “with more eyes” to help give more immediate attention to problem spots.

Herzet will investigate pricing for replacing the east garage doors on the county shop and a garage door at the noxious weed department.

The commissioners approved a total bid of $15,099.50 from Cardie Oil Co. of Tampa for road and bridge transfer fuel bids over a bid of $15,478.50 from Cooperative Grain & Supply at Hillsboro.

Regarding the upcoming mail-in election concerning whether to allow casino gambling in Marion County, Maggard said ballots will have to be back to the clerk’s office by noon, Dec. 22.

She warned the public that ballots hand-carried to the courthouse must be delivered by the person actually casting the vote.

County workers would be unable to accept votes carried by another person even if from the same family.

Maggard said the initial expense for the election is $1,163.42 from Baker Brothers Printing in Hillsboro for printing ballots and envelopes, and folding. A competitive bid for the same work from the Marion County Record came in at $1,610.

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