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Budget includes funding increase for county roads

Wednesday, March 27, 2013 - Updated: 7:56 AM

By PETE KLEIN

Express News Staff

LAKE PLEASANT—The state released the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPs) numbers in its 2013/14 budget on Monday, March 25. Overall, the state will spend $438 million, an increase of $75 million from the year before.

When Hamilton County supervisors met on Monday, Highway Superintendent Tracy Eldridge informed the supervisors that the total county share of the $75 million would be $202,026, rising from $837,534.60 in last year’s state budget to $1,039,560.64 in the 2013/14 budget.

Later in the day, Eldridge was able to provide information on just how much of this total would be going to the county highway department and how much would be going to 10 municipal highway departments.

Eldridge said the formula the state uses to determine who gets how much is complicated but the basics are determined by number of road miles maintained and the classifications of the roads such as paved or dirt roads.

Eldridge opened four bids received for the materials county employees will use to build one new recycling shed at the Indian lake Transfer Station.

Bidding was close, ranging from a low bid of $16,909 to a high bid of $18,428.

All bids were accepted to be reviewed for conformance to the specifications advertised and with a recommendation to be made to the entire board when it meets next week.

On other solid waste matters, Eldridge said he expects to have a resolution on the new solid waste rules and regulations ready for the supervisors to consider for adoption when they meet next week.

Department of Social Services (DSS) Commiss-ioner Roberta Bly informed the supervisors that her department has seen fewer applications this year for heating assistance (HEAP) but applications for food stamps (SNAP) have gone up.

Bly also reported the state is taking over more of the Medicaid application process. The state wants the counties to act as Medicaid assistors.

Why there was a drop in applications for heating assistance was addressed when Bly said, “Many don”t come in until a problem becomes a crises. We have a crises just about every day.”

Bly told the supervisors that in an effort to reach out to the public and inform them “that we are always there to help out.” She had written a letter to the editor of the Hamilton County Express, informing the public of the many services offered by her department.

The letter appeared in the March 27 issue.

Bly also took the time to thank Eldridge and all in the Building Maintenance Department who recently completed work to upgrade the security system at DSS.

No longer can people just walk in and wander around in search of someone they want to see. Now people will be buzzed in and personally directed to the proper office.

The full board of supervisors will meet Thursday, April 4,  at 10:30 a.m. in the Court House.

CHIPs funding: By the numbers

                          2012/13            2013/14          $ increase         % increase

County               $486,297.80        $590,772.14       $104,474.34         21.48

Arietta                 $36,486.71          $47,153.66        $10,666.95          29.24

Benson                $13,236.74         $16,989.45         $3,752.71           28.35

Hope                   $22,534.37          $28,575.90         $6,041.53           26.81

Indian Lake          $54,372.11          $69,568.88       $15,196.77           27.95

Inlet                    $13,416.15          $17,214.04         $3,797.89           28.31

Lake Pleasant     $47,141.80          $60,482.66       $13,340.86           28.30

Long Lake           $35,902.19          $45,903.79       $10,001.60           27.86

Morehouse           $20,579.31         $26,040.40         $5,461.09           26.54

Wells                   $59,974.97         $76,732.99       $16,758.02           27.94

Village of Spec      $47,592.45         $60,126.73       $12,534.28           26.34

     

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