Starke County Highway Department crews are ready to begin chip sealing roads. Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler told the county commissioners they will start in the Koontz Lake. He says they’ve made more than 6,000 tons of asphalt and more than 445 tons of patching material.
This is the first time the county highway department has made its own patching material. Ritzler says it costs $29.78 a ton to make versus $95 a ton to purchase and haul in from Logansport. He says highway department workers will build a patch box for around $15,000 and still come out ahead in terms of cost. Ritzler credits foreman Ricky Fisher with making the high-quality material for the county and says a letter of commendation was placed in his personnel file.
Total cost for the asphalt was $228,000. That figure includes the cost of oil, stone and labor. Ritzler says the county will be able to wedge about 20 miles worth of road with that. The commissioners praised Ritzler’s cost-saving measures. The highway superintendent is appointed annually, but they expressed a desire to change to a longer-term contract when budget time rolls around in order to ensure continuity with the long-term bridge and road maintenance plans.