Winneshiek County officials, faced with rising costs to maintain local roads at a time when revenue is stagnant, are asking for public comment on how to make the road budget go further.
County Engineer Lee Bjerke on Monday presented a list of 17 possible proposals to save money on road maintenance. County supervisor Bill Ibanez suggested now is a good time to be getting comments from the public on which ideas are more palatable than others.
"The longer we wait, the more critical this will become," said Ibanez. He said now might be a good time to create a "Road Advisory Board." Failing that, Ibanez suggested at least holding public meetings on how to make the county's money go further.
Winneshiek County has around $5 million available for local road use this year. $500,000 of that amount comes from local property taxes--about the same amount as the county raised in the 1970s, despite rising construction costs.
Some of the proposals from Bjerke include turning some roads back into gravel roads, cutting back on the amount of snow removal, and removing some roads from the county's road system.
For a complete listing of County Engineer Lee Bjerke's proposals, click here.