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Dunn County Roads Department kept busy in 2012: County spends $700K on dust control

The Dunn County Commission reflected Wednesday on how much labor and money it has invested in road improvements across the county in 2012 and how much more it may need to spend to finish the road work.

In a handout the commission received, the Dunn County Roads Department graveled 98 miles and laced scoria on 56 mile of roads this year, while also completing seven road projects, which included culvert replacements, sealing cracks, road redesign and shoulder repairs.

The total road maintenance in Dunn County involved 30 new and 26 repaired culverts, adding signage like speed limit and stop signs to roads, and fencing and grass seeding.

The Roads Department has not done it all alone, though. It also recorded numerous cooperative projects that were completed with the help of the oil companies, projects that included graveling roads and assisting with dust control efforts on gravel surfaces.

Commissioner Donna Scott, who worked to compile the list of Road Department activities for the year with help from County Road Superintendent Mike Zimmerman, said they wanted to give the commission an idea what road projects were actually going on in the county throughout the year.

With dust issues on the rise, Zimmerman said $700,000 was spent on dust control alone by Dunn County in 2012.

"We will have a separate line item (in the budget) for it next year," he told the commission.

While the commissioners are kept abreast of the Road Department's efforts, the figure reminded Commissioner Bob Kleeman just how much monetary support the county has put toward trying to better roads conditions.

"I've been here six years and the work and money we've spent on our roads blows my mind," he said.

Commissioner Daryl Dukart asked the other commissioners to consider whether or not they wished to set aside $250,000 to $300,000 that would be used to complete more road improvements in the spring.

"We're not going to get them all done, but we could try and get done what we can at that cost," he said.

Zimmerman said if he thought if the commission put several projects out for bid at the same time, they might be able to save money and it would allow for contractors to move from one project to the next as roads were completed.

No decision was made Wednesday.