Near torrential rainfall Thursday through Saturday had county road crews scrambling to repair damage and make some roads passable, it was reported at Monday’s county commission meeting.
First District commissioner Dennis Purcell said that between three and five inches of rain fell in his district. Crews were called out Saturday for an exposed pipe on county road 5170. Crews were running other roads and found serious damage to 5520 south of Gladden, which had been rendered impassable, he said.
A grader operator was called in Sunday morning to fix the damage. “Two school buses run that road and there’s nine children and a lady on oxygen on that road. We needed it open,” Purcell said.
He noted how scattered the damage was across the district. “It’s interesting how isolated and concentrated these little supercells are,” he said. A crew was out Monday making assessments and further road repairs.
Second District commissioner Gary Larson said crews went out Sunday to salt hills after snow and ice fell in the area Saturday evening. “We thought the school buses might need a little help,” he said. “As it turned out we didn’t do much salting. We were doing repairs on roads that were pretty much impassable. We found several that way.”
Repairs were being made Monday to roads that were still passable. Crews were hauling material to several roads and doing grading and patch grading, he said. “It’s amazing how it picks and chooses where it washes out and where it doesn’t,” Larson said.
Presiding commissioner Darrell Skiles said he recorded just under five inches of rainfall at his house. “We were lucky with the amount of rain we got that we didn’t have any more damage than we did,” he said.
Skiles also reported he attended the regional Public Housing Authority board meeting Thursday at St. James. As of Dec. 31, the authority had a total of 737 units across the region under lease across the region with 208 people on waiting lists, he said. People on the waiting list usually wait three to four months for housing.
He also attended an MRPC board meeting Thursday evening where members talked to state legislators about the upcoming session. MRPC Day at the Capitol is set for Jan. 21. Staff members and county officials will make the rounds and try to catch up with representatives and senators.
In other action, the commission approved a matching amount for a grant-funded update to its hazard mitigation plan being written by the State Emergency Management Agency. The plan expires in 2023. The amount of the match is $4,666 in cash, payable in 2022, plus $3,000 in in-kind contributions. Skiles said SEMA had requested a letter of commitment to be recorded in the minutes.
County clerk Angie Curley said the county financial statement is ready to be published. She also said the courthouse is closed next Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The next election is the non-binding presidential preference primary on March 20. Voters can choose a ballot from whichever party they like: Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Constitutional and Green party, she said. The deadline to register is Feb. 12.
At Thursday’s meeting, commissioners approved a recommendation to make four appointments to the SB40 board: Ron Huston, one year; AJ Seay, two years; Shawn Bolerjack, three years and Chip Adams to fill a new two-year term.
Treasurer Denita Williams reported on sales tax received in January—$84,094 each in general revenue and law enforcement tax, down 5.3 percent from last year, and $39,373 in road and bridge sales tax, down 4.7 percent. Both jail sales tax funds received $78,760, down 3.9 percent from a year ago.
Purcell reported a crew would be patch grading on county road 5520, brush cutting on 6580 and 6590 and putting up road signs and 5440 and other locations. Crews were also out checking road pipes.
Larson said a crew would be patch grading on 4380, hauling material to that road and hauling rock to the stockpile in anticipation of bad weather. Crews were also cleaning out pipes on 2500 and 2570 and putting up signs on 2610 and 2350.
The commission also awarded a bid for 7,000 gallons of diesel fuel for the road department to Phil Mart for $1.95 per gallon.