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Ditches again occupy supervisors’ agenda

By Staff | Jul 16, 2008

Silted-in ditches cause problems with snow drifting in winter and flooding in spring and the Emmet County Board of Supervisors was one step closer Tuesday to doing something about it.

Supervisor Jim Jenson brought up the issue of cleaning out silted-in ditches at the board’s last meeting. A major question, though, is whether the county has the equipment or manpower to do the job.

The supervisors agreed that the county does not have either.

“We’ve needed ditch cleaning since the mid-eighties,” said Supervisor Ron Smith.

“There’s a lot of ditches that could be cleaned,” admitted County Engineer Roger Patocka. “It would be a major effort to get everything.”

“I want to get some prices and see if we can get it in next year’s budget and get them cleaned,” said Jenson, who brought the issue to the table last week.

Board Chair Alan Madden asked Patocka whether dirt from ditches could be put back on the road.

Patocka said gravel needs to be removed first and the roads built up before the gravel is reapplied. While dirt from the ditches could be used to build the roads up, he said clay would make a better base. He also said that a contractor with the proper equipment would likely be better equipped to do the job than the county.

In his road report, Patocka said county crews were blading, mowing, hauling ice sand and working on culverts.

In other business Tuesday, the board agreed to advertise for a part-time aide for the county health department. The board agreed that a meeting of the Emmet County Board of Health should be called to discuss replacing Director Karen Moritz whose resignation is effective Sept. 5.

The board also approved an additional $27.28 monthly cost on the copier contract for the Emmet County Attorney’s Office. That amount would be in addition to the $4,500 budgeted yearly for the copier lease and maintenance.