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 didn’t prevent them from backing an interim agreement last week.
The board unanimously approved a six-month extension of the town’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 county’s Public Works Committee, was critical of the minimum level of payment concept at last month’s Town Board meeting.
There was no hint of that skepticism when the board backed the interim agreement.
“I am fine with extending it for six months as it is,” Jobs said.
She said the county must do a better job of keeping its prices competitive with the private sector.
“We 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 can’t be expected to spend tax dollars at a higher rate than we could get somewhere else,” 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.