As a previous (retired) employee, I have great concern in the direction our road department has taken. The lack of maintenance is causing our road system to deteriorate. The cause of this is what I believe is the direction the crew at the Ravalli County Road Department has been given from the Commissioners and management.
I realize that operational costs have risen dramatically. During my tenure, we would pave 12 miles of new asphalt and overlay approximately 7 miles of road. We also would pull shoulders to maintain existing asphalt. We would also do about 30 miles of chip sealing, and grade gravel roads before school started in the fall.
In 2012, there was no paving, chip sealing, or shoulder maintenance. In 2013, 3 miles were paved, no chip sealing, 3 miles of shoulder work, and grading the gravel roads started 3 weeks after school started.
We as taxpayers need to pay more attention to the maintenance that is done to the investment we have made into our road system. It is an asset that is used by all the citizens of our county.
The current Road Supervisor and County Commissioners are showing a real lack of concern about the safety of our road system. Their layoffs of an already short crew will leave our roads unsafe this winter during snow events. The road department currently has 9 plow sander trucks along with 4 graders used to move snow and only 10 operators.
Talking with the current crew, they know what needs to be done to get the roads back into maintenance. It is clear that what they know needs to be done is not getting done. When the citizens realize how bad the roads really are, by then the cost to bring them back to good order will be astounding.
Please contact the Commissioners and express your concern.