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June 20, 2013

Tie bid thrown to full County Board

MT. VERNON — — MT. VERNON — Jefferson County's Highway Committee was faced with a perplexing problem on Wednesday when they received identical bids for a mower.

John McDermott and Chuck Funke each submitted sealed bids of $400 for the mower of five bids received. As a result, the Committee will refer the tie vote to the full board when it meets on Monday.

The Committee did accept bids for a 1992 Case mowing tractor and a Rex tiller. Tom Kahrhoff's bid of $5,100 for the tractor was accepted; and a bid of $3,331 from Danny Lowery was accepted for the tiller. The county received 10 bids on the tractor, ranging from 2,150 to Kahrhoff's high bid. The county received eight bids on the tiller.

"That was about what I was expecting," Highway Engineer Brandon Simmons said of the bids. "I'm happy with the tractor bid, and I was hoping we would get at least $3,000 on the tiller."

The Committee also accepted monthly fuel bids from Synenergy — $8.408 for gasohol and $3.1580 for biodiesel.

Simmons proposed the county consider a overload permit fee. He said a similar plan in Williamson County has been in place since 2010 and has resulted in additional income for that county.

Simmons said several county roads, including the Continental Tire road (Shawnee) and Brehm Lane, between Interstate 64 and Illinois Highway 142 are especially heavily traveled with heavy truck traffic. Trucks can run legally with 80,000 pounds, but it's not uncommon for 250,000 loads to pass through the county.

Simmons said during a recent tracking period, he estimated the county could received income in excess of $2,000 per month for the permits.

Committee member Randy Edwards cautioned, "Let's not do anything to hurt our local industry," and Jim Laird added, "Truckers already have a lot of of different fees. Are we hurting that much that we have to do this?"

Chairman Steve Draege took a different view, noting, "I don't see why they (truckers) shouldn't pay extra costs to maintain the roads."

The Committee took no action on the proposal, and Simmons said he would continue to work on a possible resolution for all concerned.

Simmons also announced Friday will mark the retirement of laborer Jack Prinnell who has been an employee of the county for approximately 16 years.

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