County hears road concerns once again

Marion county resident Jerry Mendoza has had multiple tires destroyed due to county roadwork on his street. The most recent incident happened when this piece of metal was lodged into one of his vehicle’s tires.

The Marion County Board of Commissioners met for their regular weekly meeting on Monday, Sept. 26 and began with a public comment issue from the previous meeting. Marion County resident Jerry Mendoza had asked online who to submit a tire reimbursement to for his three tires that were damaged due to materials left on his road from the county road work. County Clerk Tina Spencer had read the comment and saw that County Engineer Brice Goebel had replied. Mr. Mendoza then replied that he would still like his statement read so that the commissioners were aware of the incident and the ongoing road issues Mendoza and his neighbors were having.

He said, “I feel that my right as a resident of Marion County was not observed by not allowing my voice heard and relayed to the commissioners. I know that this may be of a minor issue to you, but when the daily lives of the residents of this street have to be interrupted to fix or get tires replaced due to foreign objects in the road and starts affecting revenue-generating business, then it has no choice but to become a great big deal to the residents. Also, when the road condition is not corresponding to the speed limit of that road the (SIC) could inevitably be some serious accidents.”

Mendoza went on to say that he wanted to confirm who he should direct his tire expenses that he has incurred since the road construction has been underway on the Aulne road. He stated that Goebel had instructed him to send in the reimbursement request so it could be turned into the county’s insurance but did not tell him who to direct it to. He also stated that over the past three weeks he had to replace three tires and has had more tire issues in the last three weeks than the previous four years that he has lived here. Mendoza ended the comments asking the time frame for his reimbursement.

Spencer stated that she had not seen the comment, apologized and updated the commissioners on all of the comments.

Mendoza further commented at Monday’s meeting that he had further tire issues. He also submitted an email with a picture of the most recent damage as well as information on what had occurred.

“I have included a picture of the metal shard that was taken out of the latest tire that was worked on (needless to say, the tire was irreplaceable). My main concern is what this metal could have caused in the form of an accident. This could have blown my son’s tire and resulted in a major accident. Please do something to remedy these road conditions before a driver encounters an accident that results in major injuries driving this road. My fear with our children driving is a daily concern without the added issue of foreign material in the road,” said Mendoza in an email he sent to the commissioners that was read in the meeting.

Mendoza included a video of the technician pulling the piece of metal out of his tire with the email he sent to the commissioners.

The meeting continued after the business portion with more road-related issues.

The Township Trustees attended the meeting to let the board know that they were upset with the condition of Marion County’s roads as well as the county’s lack of progress in repairing them.

Marion County resident Jenna Dickerson came as a third party on behalf of the township trustees and read a letter from them asking 11 questions related to the roads of Marion County. Much of the letter addressed the lack of progress over the past five years stating that the county is still facing the exact same road problems. Other issues brought up considered the state of the equipment being used, the type and amount of rock being used, the training (or lack thereof) of county road workers, money being saved on the road employee shortage being used for road repairs until workers are hired and more.

Chairman Dave Crofoot thanked the group for having “a well thought out letter and for bringing up great questions and began replying to the list of questions, but it was then decided to wait and cover it all in more detail at a work session at 10 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 24.

Commissioner Jonah Gehring suggested putting the repair plans online so that the public can see what the goals are and where the county is planning to work. A plan was also made to bring the maps to the meeting on Oct. 24.

Gehring stated that while there is still a lot of work to be done, the quality of the material is “hands down an improvement over several years ago”.

The group and commissioners spoke a bit more about the roads.

“We kinda keep doing the same thing we’ve always been doing, even five years ago, and it’s not working,” said Lehigh resident Linda Peters.

In other business, the board:

n Hillsboro City Administrator Matt Stiles gave an update on the SEED grant application he had presented the week before at the weekly meeting.

“I think we are getting close to the $50,000 cap, and we have six projects,” said Stiles.

Stiles asked the commissioners to sign a letter of support for the application. He stated that it made the most sense to combine the town’s requests since it’s better for everyone to work together. The board approved the letter.

n heard road and bridge updates from Goebel.

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