Another mile of county highway was added to the ATV route by the Taylor County Highway Committee on Tuesday. Initially the committee discussed a request to open a 7 mile stretch of County F from 73 to H, Bellanger to Otter Lake for ATV usage. Due to the lack of adjoining ATV routes that request failed by a 3 to 2 vote. Chairman Scott Mildebrand felt the next request to open County C from 102 to Fawn Avenue “made sense”. That request to open the 1 mile stretch on County C for ATV use was approved.
Looking ahead to snowmobile season it was noted that a new portion of the federal forest may be available for snowmobile trails near Steve Creek. The committee approved opening the right of way along Highways E & D for about 1/3 of a mile to connect logging trails for access to a new snowmobile trail system which would connect to Price County.
The committee reviewed the proposed 2014 Highway department budget. Commissioner Jesse Sackman presented 3 options: a 0% increase, 5% and 75% increase. The largest increase would allow for paving 15 miles and Chipseal 10 miles of road. With a lack of funds, committee members reluctantly approved proposing the 0% increase budget.
Should Taylor County and Price County share one highway commissioner? Price County contacted Taylor County with that proposal. Price County is operating without a patrol supervisor and their commissioner is leaving at the end of 2013. Commissioner Jesse Sackman said one of the biggest obstacles would be that Taylor County reports to the D.O.T. offices in Eau Claire and Superior, while Price County reports to the D.O.T. office in Wisconsin Rapids. Committee members emphasized they were pleased with the job which Jesse Sackmann is doing for Taylor County. However they felt it would be wise to pursue what Price county officials are proposing.
Looking at the summer road projects, the Highway D project is being blacktopped now and should be done September 10th or 11th.
Design work is being done on the County M project from Richter Road to Winter Sports Road for next year. Several bridges including 1 on County O near Melvin’s and one on T are scheduled for redecking.
The new state budget adds 52.5 million dollars to the state road budget which should increase the maintenance funds by 40 to 45%.
That was some of the business at the Tuesday Taylor County Highway committee meeting..