While the downpour late last week washed out parts of many rock roads in Allen County, it was the high water that forced county officials to close some roads, Mitch Garner, director of Public Works, told commissioners at their meeting Tuesday morning.
The report brought up a concern central to road repairs and construction. The crusher, a hulking machine that chews up rocks of various sizes, is on its last leg.
“It’s nickel and diming us to death,” Garner said.
Commissioner Jim Talkington asked if a used one could be found.
Garner didn’t pursue that, rather mentioned that a new crusher, mounted on tracks so it could more easily be moved about the quarry, would be a better option.
Garner said a new machine would cost between $600,000 and $700,000 — an amount that exceeded his budget.
Commissioner Jerry Daniels wondered if such an expensive piece of equipment could be bought on time. Garner expected it could, saying payments would likely be in the neighborhood of $200,000 a year.
Commissioner Tom Williams was absent Tuesday.
Though it didn’t surface, the county does have more than $2 million sequestered in reserve, the result in years ago of a substantial increase in county assessed valuation — from just under $100 million to about $140 million — from property owned by Enbridge Pipeline.
Another expenditure that might be considered from those reserves is construction of a medical arts building to support Allen County Regional Hospital. Such an investment in medical care for the county has been estimated at about $1.5 million.
DANIELS reported Allen County Airport, with its 5,500-foot runway, came into play for a long distance medical airlift of a Neosho County patient.
The resident was ferried to the local airport by ambulance and put aboard a jet air ambulance, where the longer runway better accommodated landing and take-off.