Road and bridge board holds fast to policy

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tim Stone spent nearly eight years convincing neighbors to sign easements and agree to let Cape Girardeau County pave County Road 442. Because one neighbor refused to sign, County Road 442 will not be put on a paving list, he learned Monday night during the Cape Girardeau County road and bridge board meeting.

A neighbor, Calvin Phillips, received opposite news at the same meeting about County Road 444, where he lives. A clerical error had bumped County Road 444 from the paving plan and replaced it with County Road 387. The bridge board fixed the mistake.

The board was intent on sticking to the county's paving policy, approved by the county commission in 1999.

Payne read a letter from 1st District Commissioner Paul Koeper, who wrote that he wanted to give the board its independence, though he also sent a proposed paving schedule. Koeper's letter reiterated his intent to oppose chip-and-seal paving. But Koeper's letter also said he wanted "to work with the board in any capacity you wish."

Koeper's list included putting asphalt on 16 miles of road at a cost of $1.3 million this year; his 2010 list had nearly seven miles slated for asphalt with 6.3 miles for chip-and-seal paving.

The road and bridge board had its own paving list, calling for about six miles of chip-and-seal paving for $423,500 and about six miles of asphalt paving for $854,000.

In a discussion over how chip-and-seal applied last year is performing, board member David Blumenberg said he was unhappy with asphalt on County Road 271, where a series of flaws have appeared, including a long centerline that appears to be degrading.

In voting, the board agreed to support its paving plan over Koeper's. Payne said he would not be upset if the vote was not unanimous, and it wasn't. John Helderman voted against board member Ken Evans' motion, recommending six miles total in chip-and-seal paving for county roads 363, 361, 405, 501, 256 and 259. Asphalt was recommended for a total of 6.1 miles on county roads 411, 412, 250, 451 and 444.

Helderman said after the meeting he felt the chip-and-seal paving applied last year needed to be tested longer before the county made a larger commitment to it. But he and Payne agreed there were no hard feelings over the vote.

The board meets again at 7 p.m. April 6 at the county administration building, 1 Barton Square in Jackson.

pmcnichol@semissourian.com

388-3646

3444 County Road 442, Jackson, MO

477 Phillips Lane, Jackson, MO

1 Barton Square, Jackson, MO

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