Written by MARK JAEGER
Wednesday, 26 December 2012 16:43
Town of Saukville officials have already gone on record as being critical of dramatic changes in the proposed road contract with the Ozaukee County Highway Department, but that didnâ€™t prevent them from backing an interim agreement last week.
The board unanimously approved a six-month extension of the townâ€™s road maintenance contract with the county.
The agreement keeps the terms of the 2011-12 contract intact through June.
During that interim period, the county and area township leaders are expected to negotiate a proposed minimum service contract, which was tentatively requested at 85% of previous contracts with the municipalities.
County officials are hopeful of including the minimum payment provision in the next two-year contract, allowing for more accurate budgeting in a service that is greatly affected by the unpredictability of weather.
In the Town of Saukville, the annual road maintenance bills have averaged $110,000 over the past three years.
Using the proposed county formula, the town would be asked commit $95,000 a year for road work over the next two years.
Town Chairman Barb Jobs, a county supervisor who also serves on the countyâ€™s Public Works Committee, was critical of the minimum level of payment concept at last monthâ€™s Town Board meeting.
There was no hint of that skepticism when the board backed the interim agreement.
â€śI am fine with extending it for six months as it is,â€ť Jobs said.
She said the county must do a better job of keeping its prices competitive with the private sector.
â€śWe want to make sure we are making the best use of tax dollars. The goal is to create a win-win situation for both sides. We canâ€™t be expected to spend tax dollars at a higher rate than we could get somewhere else,â€ť Jobs said.
The country provides plowing, salting and sanding services in the town during the winter, as well as replacing damaged or missing road signs.
A host of other road maintenance services are provided as requested by the town.