County engineer looks to start ditch reappraisals

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(Posted Aug. 28, 2017)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

Madison County Engineer Bryan Dhume wants to see the fees charged for ditch maintenance keep better pace with inflation and increasing costs.

On Aug. 21, he informed the county commissioners that he wants to start doing regular reappraisals of ditches. The Ohio Revised Code allows for reappraisals every six years.

The Engineer’s Office bases maintenance assessments on the original cost to construct the ditch. The maximum charge allowed is 20 percent of that original cost.

Should he move forward with reappraisals, Dhume said he has identified five ditches he’d like to look at this year, starting in September. Each reappraisal requires a public hearing in front of the commissioners.

“The intent is to eventually get all ditches reevaluated and on a regular six-year schedule,” Dhume said.

Also on Aug. 21, the commissioners held a bid opening for paving work at Madison Lake, coordinated by the Engineer’s Office on behalf of the Union Township trustees.

The trustees received an Ohio Public Works grant to pave Sycamore Lane, Wood Lane, Lake Road, Park Lane and Deercreek Lane. The engineer’s estimate for the project was $174,579.

Two bids were submitted and both came in over the estimate. A&B Asphalt of Springfield had the lower of the two bids at $191,852. Decker Construction of Colum-bus came in at $225,659.

Dhume said he would review the bids, discuss them with the trustees, then make a recommendation to the commissioners. By law, they can accept a bid that’s within 10 percent of the estimate. A&B’s figure comes in just under that 10 percent overage.

The work is set to be done by the end of October.

In other business, the commissioners approved increases in dog tag fees. The one-year option is now $15, up from $14. The three-year option stays the same at $40. The lifetime option, good for 10 years, is moving from $140 to $150. The new prices apply to the 2018 tags, for sale Dec. 1-Jan. 31. Tags purchased after Jan. 31 will be subject to a penalty.

“The main reason we raised the prices a little was so that over time, we could defray the costs to update equipment for the dog warden,” said Commissioner David Hunter. For example, he said, the dog warden’s truck has over 190,000 miles on it.

The commissioners also heard from the Friends of Madison County Parks and Trails (FMCPT), which will be hosting a groundbreaking ceremony at 11 a.m. Sept. 7 for the Ohio To Erie Trail extension. Parking will be available at 195 Maple St., London.

The project will extend the bike path further into downtown London from Maple Street to Walnut Street. FMCPT is raising money to cover costs associated with the project. They have reached 58 percent of their goal. For details about making a donation, go to www.fmcpt.com.

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