Jim Bob Watkins came to county commission Monday bearing a white flag, of sorts: he wanted to change the talk about roads from problems to solutions.
Watkins, who lives near Burns in Milton Township, told commissioners the public is “giving up.”
“The general public is done complaining,” Watkins said. “Most people have lost faith in the system that Marion County had going. Most people don’t have any ideas of any sorts of solutions.”
While Watkins described some was more interested in what he could do to help fix problems.
Watkins offered to survey roads in Milton township and report back to commissioners.
He also offered to fix roads himself.
“There’s only one Randy Crawford, and how many miles of roads in the county?” Watkins said. “He can’t do that many.”
Commissioner Randy Dallke said road crews are even farther behind because of rainfall Friday.
“We fell back three or four steps,” he said. “We didn’t move ahead any.”
Mike Beneke of Lincolnvile was back for a third week, and for a second time he brought road debris to the courthouse.
“I have a log in the back of my truck,” Beneke said, showing commissioners a picture. “I won’t put it on the courthouse lawn, but tell me where to put it.”
Dallke brought the discussion back to Watkins and others who want to do something.
“There’s other people down here talking about maintaining their own roads,” Dallke said. “They’re just wanting to know how they can do it, what they can do, and stuff like that.”
Commission chair Dan Holub responded: “That’s going on all over. People are going to do what they have to do to make it happen.”
When Beneke started talking about rounding up more people to bring to the next commission meeting, Holub stopped him.
“We’re getting the message, Mike,” he said.
Commissioners deliberated about having a public meeting, with Commissioner Lori Laulouette suggesting there be a planning meeting with road and bridge personnel.
“We can script this to death or we and just do it,” Holub said.
A public forum was scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday at Marion County Park and Lake Hall.
The goal for the public meeting was made clear by Holub.
“We need to have it,” he said. “We’ve just got to get everyone on the same page.”
In other business:
- Prairie View Inc. presented a budget request for mental health services, and Marion County Soil Conservation District asked commissioners for continued funding.
- Commissioners approved the purchase of a new $10,291 mower for the Marion County Park and Lake.
- McCully and Associates was approved for a contract renewal for approximately $19,700 to continue their services with the Marion County Appraisal office.
- Cooperative Grain and Supply won a $16,208 bid for 400 gallons of fuel with the Road and Bridge department. Awarding of tire bids was delayed.