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Village road grader sold, but at what expense?

Former trustee concerned that action was not on the agenda

Published: Saturday, March 23, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT

At the Lyndon Village Board meeting on March 14, the superintendent of public works presented an offer made by Altorfer to purchase a road grader for $72,000.

After a short discussion, a motion was made to sell the road grader for $80,000 but not less than $72,000. The motion was seconded, voted on, and approved.

The next topic discussed was what to do with the road roller. After another short discussion, it was decided the roller was worth more to scrap out for junk than to sell it to someone for less money.

I asked, How would the village take care of our roads without the road grader? The mayor’s response was, “It will be hired out.”

I responded by stating that $72,000 will not go very far in road work. He replied, “We could have an outside contractor grind our roads, instead of using the grader to scarify them.”

The mayor also commented on being interested in going to asphalt roads instead of seal coating, as the village has done in the past. I stated that we can’t keep putting “Band-Aids” on the road such as what was done near the Conoco station.

I contacted the Whiteside County Highway Department to get an idea of the cost of materials and grinding for a mile of road. According to them, grinding cost for a mile is $8,213.34, without any additional road work such as adding rock and/or finished grading.

To build a proper base for village streets, you need a core sample taken. If additional work is needed, the estimated cost of rock a mile is $14,685.30 plus the hauling rate for an outside company.

On top of the rock and hauling, the village would need a company to build and finish the road prior to sealcoat or asphalt layer that is applied. A sealcoated road costs $13,305.60 a mile compared to an asphalt road, which is $73,773.25 a mile at the current rate. 

The village of Lyndon has almost 10 miles of road throughout the town. Currently, the village receives only around $1,300 of Motor Fuel Tax money per month used for the roads. Where will the remainder of the money come from?

Would it not have been more cost-effective to keep the equipment, that was already paid for, to build and maintain our roads rather than sell it for $72,000? What’s the village going to get rid of next? 

According to the agenda for the March meeting, there was nothing about selling the grader or roller. It states in unfinished business, “appraisal of road grader/roller.”

How can the board vote to sell the road grader, or junk the roller, if it’s not on the agenda to be voted on? This a clear violation of the Open Meetings Act.

Decisions made at board meetings, that may affect our village, should be made available to the taxpayers prior to the board meetings so taxpayers can have a chance to express their concerns.

Note to readers – Lyle Armstrong is a former member of the Lyndon Village Board.

 

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