Douglas County Board of Commissioners approve road repairs
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What: Douglas County Board of Commissioners
When: 3 p.m. Tuesday
Where: 1616 8th St., Minden
County roads in dire need of repair are slated for full reconstruction in the coming months.
Commissioners on Thursday approved the Douglas County’s 5-year transportation plan for inclusion in the 2017-18 capital improvement plan. The transportation plan includes full reconstruction of Jacks Valley and Dump roads and Centerville and Tillman lanes.
The projected cost for this year’s work is $10.2 million.
The reconstruction of Jacks Valley will extend from Genoa to Alpine View Court. The Tillman reconstruction replaces previously scheduled work at Mottsville Lane.
“We would like to get that fairly soon,” County Road Engineer Jon Erb said of Tillman. Erb estimated a late summer completion date for the work. However, the road should be temporarily opened before then, he said.
“We’re going to do some temporary patchwork to get it open in the next couple of weeks,” he said.
The reconstruction of Centerville will stop just before the Highway 88 intersection. The intersection has been the scene of several serious accidents over the years, and the state is currently looking at installation of a signal or roundabout to slow traffic.
“This (the county’s) project is a pavement replacement project. It won’t address the intersection – that’s their (NDOT’s) right-of-way,” Erb said. He said initial conversations indicate that NDOT is leaning toward putting a roundabout at the intersection.
In addition to the full reconstruction projects, the transportation plan includes general maintenance work such as flood repairs at Fish Springs Road and the replacement of culverts along Kimmerling Road.
Also at the meeting the commissioners wrestled with how to prioritize items listed in the Fiscal Year 2018-22 strategic plan.
Infrastructure, organizational sustainability and financial stability are listed as the top three priorities in the draft version of the plan.
“I don’t care what we do, we can’t do it without financial stability,” said Commissioner Steve Thaler. “We have to have financial stability for whatever we do.”
Thaler also said community safety and employee compensation are high on his priority list.
Commissioner Larry Walsh agreed with Thaler.
“I think a safe community is a top priority, and we as a community ought to work toward that and everything else falls into place,” Walsh said.
Commissioner Dave Nelson said he agreed safe communities are a top priority, “However, we have to look at the infrastructure. To me, that’s the top priority at this point. We’ve let it go too long.”
Chairman Barry Penzel took a different tactic.
“You’ve got to first accomplish basic needs,” he said. “Safe communities are a very basic need. I don’t think any community ever entirely accomplishes that, but that’s a building block on which you have to base your community.”
But, he countered, “If we’re going to focus dollars this year, we should probably focus dollars on infrastructure and organizational sustainability. Financial stability is an overarching concept.”
The strategic plan serves as a road map for the county and its board of commissioners.
A final version of the plan is set to go before the board April 20.
A special commissioners meeting is set for 3 p.m. Tuesday. On the agenda is the possible adoption of new items to be included in the FY17-18 budget, including $1.2 million cost-of-living and merit increases for county employees.