2010-07-17 / News

Trustees buy pot hole repair machine

By Charles Prince

JACKSONTOWN – Licking Township Trustees have decided to spend $61,000 to purchase a selfcontained Dura Patcher trailer for road repairs.

The unit, which will be towed behind an existing township dump truck, uses spray injection technology to repair pot holes, alligator cracks, shoulders and washouts. Two separate demonstrations impressed trustees. Pot holes difficult to keep filled with cold or even hot mix haven’t reappeared when repaired with an air applied mixture of washed stone and a special emulsion.

Trustees discussed the purchase last month, but agreed to delay making a decision until fiscal officer Jill Linn could tell them if they could afford it.

She told them July 6 that they could spend some $60,000 without dipping into the general fund. The purchase, coupled with the township’s share of the Hupp Road reconstruction project and the annual resurfacing project , would just about clean out the motor vehicle license fund, gasoline tax fund and the road and bridge fund.

“It would be possible to buy that piece of equipment,” she concluded.

“Several thing about this have troubled me,” Trustee President Joe Hart said. “It’s almost like we have the cart and horse reversed.” He did agree that it is a good piece of equipment.

He challenged Trustee Dave Miller’s repeated assertions that the equipment will pay for itself. Hart said the only way they will have any labor savings is to either reduce hours or lay someone off.

Rather than looking at whether they could afford a Dura Patcher, Hart said trustees should consider how much they can afford to spend on capital improvements.

“I would buy a new truck or attempt to buy one,” he added, noting that the truck is used almost every day. Hart also believes the township needs two new snow plows.

“Are we spending it on the right thing?” he asked.

“We could use a truck,” Miller responded.

“Every road we have we’re gonna have cracks,” he added. “I think sealing the cracks will preserve the roads.”

Trusees asked road worker Steve Patterson for his opinion. “Over the long run I think it will do more than we think it will,” he said. “$61,000 won’t buy me a new truck,” Patterson added. “This equipment could save us money that could be used for a truck payment.”

Miller offered to eat his hat if he’s wrong.

Trustees voted 2-1, with Hart voting “no” to make the purchase.

In other business, Miller and Patterson asked drivers to slow down on Ridgely Tract so the new stone being put down will mix with the tar melting in the 90 degree plus temperatures. “They beat it off the road as fast as I put it down,” Patterson said.

Fire Chief Mike Wilson said the company had 68 runs in June – 60 EMS, six fire and two dive team. Year-to-date runs total 471, about 60 runs behind last year at this time. Wilson said the long 4th of July weekend was relatively uneventful.

During public comments, Harbor Hills resident Marshall Eubanks, who has been battling cancer, came to his first meeting in eight months. He agreed with Hart on first coming up with a plan for capital expenditures. “You ought to have a longer range plan.”

He pointed out that HB 393 was recently signed into law, asking if its new authority for townships would allow trustees to address the junkyard off Lancer Road. He also asked about the status of the trolley cars owned by the Evans Foundation that are stored along Lancer Road.

Trustees will check on both questions.

Rhonda Carte asked about the status of using occupancy permits to control crowds at Papa Boo’s and Captain Woody’s. Trustee Ron Acord said he had discussed the issue with a retired fire inspector from a neighboring township. Acord said it is up to the township’s fire prevention officer to set the limits. Hart suggested that he consult further with the township chief.

The next trustees meeting is set for 7 p.m. on Monday, July 19.

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