The Lincoln County Commissioners approved a special $3.5 million bond Monday to resurface several rural roads — five main roads and six in residential subdivisions.
The bond will add about $15 a year in taxes to the owner of $100,000 worth of property. The bond will be paid off relatively quickly — in five years.
This is the first Lincoln County special road bond since 1998-99.
Not only do the roads need repairs, two of them — Fort McPherson Road and East State Farm — are on the edge of being “lost,” and would need extensive rebuilding, County Road Superintendent Carla O’Dell said on Feb. 11, when she proposed the special funding.
The first proposal was for about $2.5 million, but the cost of oil, a key ingredient, is increasing. Also, Western Engineering will no longer apply asphalt, so that much of the work will have to be done by another company, O’Dell said.
She also said prolonged cold weather this winter is bound to cause more cracked asphalt, and the salt and de-icers on the road do damage too.
None of the commissioners objected, although Commissioner Bill Henry suggested reducing the maximum amount of the bond to $3 million. That didn’t fly with Commissioner Joe Hewgley, who said the higher ceiling would allow for contingencies.
Hewgely said if the bids come in below estimated amounts and the full $3.5 million is not needed, the leftover money could pay off the bonds quicker, saving the taxpayers some interest costs.
Commissioner Walt Johnson asked if the bond will have long-term impact on the country budget. Hewgley said taxpayers have to bear the cost of the road repairs one way or another – either sooner through the special bond, or later through normal property taxes. He said repairs will be more expensive if they are put off.
O’Dell has said if the projects are delayed, another inch of overlay might be needed, or worse, rebuilding the entire road. She said each inch of overlay costs about $63,500 per mile.
A vote of the public is not required for the bond because the amount of the bond amount is below the required threshold.
O’Dell hopes to take bids for the resurfacing work in late spring or early summer, with work beginning in the late summer.
Major roads & cost estimates:
Fort McPherson Road – 3 inch overlay – 3 miles — $617,000
Platte Valley Road – 2 inch overlay – 3 miles — $419,500
East State Farm Road – 2 inch overlay – 8.5 miles — $1.2 million
Walker Road – 2 inch overlay – 2 miles — $280,000
South River Road – armor coating – 2 miles — $280,000
Maloney Highlands – 2 inch overlay – 0.8 miles — $106,850
Jandebeur #2 – 2 inch overlay – 1.1 miles — $153,825.
Prairie View Acres – 2 inch overlay – 2.25 miles — $300,320
Prairie View Acres 2nd – 2 inch overlay – 0.81 miles — $113,300
Rolling Hills – armor coating – 0.6 miles – $11,921
Hillcrest Estates – armor coating – 1.3 miles — $23,842
(Armor coating consists of spraying asphalt oil over the surface, then covering the emulsion with gravel and embedding the aggregate in the emulsion with rollers.)
During discussion, commissioner Jerry Woodruff asked about repairing rural roads in other residential subdivisions.
Henry told him that the commissioners made a difficult decision about 15 years ago not to accept responsibility for more subdivision roads, due to costs, and the board has had the spine to stick with the decision.
“We had to draw the line,” Henry said. “This is the way it will be until we strike gold or something. I wish there would come a time when we can take on new subdivision roads, but these are all the dollars we have.”
In other road business, the commissioners approved a contract with Miller and Associates to design a new Sutherland Bridge over the North Platte River.
The design is the first stage of the project. Construction is slated to begin in 2020, O’Dell told the Bulletin after the meeting.