Commissioners call for harmony among road crew

Road and bridge assistant directors Jesse Hamm and Larry Cushenberry met in special session with Marion County commissioners Thursday to review work priorities.

The commissioners also expected to meet in special session with all members of the department in an attempt to have all members work together without infighting or dissent.

Commission chair Dan Holub had the concurrence of commissioners Randy Dallke and Lori Lalouette that any employees of the department who didn?t feel they could work harmoniously under a future new director would be asked to resign rather than contribute to strife.

The meeting with Hamm and Cushenberry was called in part because of the resignation of Randy Crawford as road and bridge director with his last day Friday in order to begin a job with another employer.

The commissioners voted Thursday to accept Craw?ford?s resignation.

Dallke said the commissioners want to be sure ?that everyone is always working on the same page? in the future.

The commissioners verified once again with the two assistants that road gravelling under contract with Unruh Trucking, reviewed during the 0ct. 5 meeting, is proceeding as expected.

Hamm said there is always a ?danger of problems? for the county when heavy gravel is applied this time of year, including ?snow ditches? when 300 tons of gravel are applied to the mile.

Hamm defined snow ditches as occurring when blading roads to clear heavy snow results in a layer of gravel being thrown into ditches, where it becomes nearly impossible to retrieve to the road surface.

Cushenberry recommended that roads slated for the heavier graveling that are in relatively good shape, such as Diamond from 290th to 330th, receive 100 tons of gravel per mile instead of 300 prior to snow season.

The two road and bridge men confirmed they are proceeding with plans to replace and instal road culverts.

They said they are continuing to work with homeowners who have asked that sand be placed on the roads in front of their homes.

The pair confirmed they are continuing to educate employees such as grader operators who were taught to pull too much dirt onto road surfaces under directions that varied under different directors over the past 20-plus years.

The commissioners confirmed that they wanted all grader operators to meet at 7:30 a.m. Monday, Oct. 12, prior to the official commission meeting at 9 a.m., to ensure that all grader operators are working in like manner.

The commissioners ended the meeting in executive session for personnel for 15 minutes.

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