Dang the Dust

The Dunn County Commission wants to let you know that we have not forgotten about the local taxpayers when it comes to dust control. The original program several years back was designed to stabilize new gravel placed on the roadways on specifically oil impacted roads. The reasoning was to reduce the amount of maintenance needed from all the extra traffic generated by the oil industry. It is working on several fronts. Less blading and the big one is it has cut down the frequency of gravel needing to be applied by several years. This program was not designed to prevent dust around and near farmsteads but we have used it in some extreme cases as a courtesy to help out local taxpayers most affected by the industry.

We would like to share a few facts with the first being it costs Dunn County close to $8,000.00 dollars per mile to apply the mag and rust inhibitor. With over 1,100 miles of roadway in Dunn County, it would cost the County close to ten million dollars to cover every road just one time and during this drought it would only last a month. It uses considerable time and resources to apply it with water being one that concerns us most during this drought. We have permitted 5,086 over weight loads to date this year and most are north of Highway 200. Without this effort many of those roads in these dry conditions would be un-repairable and most likely would need to be reconstructed. Reconstruction costs are close to $250,000 per mile for gravel roads.

We have been receiving numerous calls over the past several weeks asking for help. We sympathize with your requests but you must recognize that like the farmers with crop issues and ranchers with pasture and hay shortages our road department is at the weather’s mercy as well. We find it next to impossible to haul enough water to perform the proper maintenance on our roadways. To make it even more problematic is the fact that the State Water Commission is now severely restricting water use from permits obtained to do roadwork. In some cases terminating permits in and on some of our water sources.

We thank the road department for the extra effort they have been putting in to help with this situation and ask the public to be patient, it has to start raining someday so drive safe and slow down on the gravel roads for your safety and the rest of the traveling public.

Respectfully,

Dunn County Commission

Reinhard Hauck, Chairman


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