Lake County borrows to fix highways
By Kitty Conley email@example.com July 2, 2012 1:38PM
Updated: July 5, 2012 2:03PM
CROWN POINT — Due to budget limitations caused by the property tax freeze imposed on Lake County by the state, the county has decided to issue $5 million in bonds to fix county roads.
The Highway Department came into the year with $700,000 in its budget to maintain, fix or replace the 562 miles of roads in its jurisdiction. That includes salt during the winter, screenings, culverts, dirt and soil, stone and every other product used, according to Jill Stochel, assistant superintendent of the department.
She added that there was another $600,000 for the actual paving and chip-and-seal work.
According to Mark Malczewski, the highway superintendent, the $700,000 would have taken care of between four and five miles of the 562 miles of roads they must maintain.
Malczewski said, “We will use about half of the bond issue this year and the other half next year. We just got the money this week and we are going into July already.”
Out of the $5 million, which translates to an actual $4.9 million usable cash, the county will use $662,000 for materials, and $3.8 million for paving and chip-and-seal contracts done by outside companies. The $662,000 in materials will include materials for culverts, curbs and stone.
In addition to that, in 2012 the department will advertise for $350,000 in road equipment, including four new large pick up trucks, one sign truck and one dump truck, which are needed to replace some of the highway department’s 16- to 20-year-old vehicles.
“We are under an unfunded federal mandate to change all the radios in the buildings and in the all the vehicles from analog to digital. That is at a cost of $100,000,” Malczewski said.
The administration has not yet picked the list of roads that will receive work.
On the list of paving is 400 feet of Randolph Street for a total of $10,575 and 17,750 feet of 145th/142nd from the County Line to U. S. 231 at a cost of $483,623. In the Center Township unincorporated area between Crown Point and Cedar Lake there is work needed on 133rd Avenue from Marshall to Cedar Lake Road and again from Cedar Lake Road to the Cedar Lake Town limits, which comes to 11,275 linear feet of road.
On the other end of Center Township, 109th Avenue from the Crown Point city limits to Colorado Avenue is 1,330 feet that also needs paving, and connecting to it is Colorado Avenue from 101st Avenue to 109th Avenue, which adds another 5,325 linear feet coming in at more than $170,000.
Roads are also rated artery or collector roadways and within those classes as major or minor.
In total the highway department has a list of repaving needs totaling $5,271,536 and covering just 37.86 miles of roadway under the $5 million bond.
As Malczewski said, “Only half of the bond will be spent this year, and the other half next year.”