Darke Co. Engineer’s 2020 reports


By Jim Surber - Darke County Engineer



DARKE COUNTY — The following is a detailed report provided by the Darke County Engineer’s Office of expenditures for 2020:

This report shows money received for the year, where it was spent, and what it maintained, constructed, purchased, or improved. We always try to maximize the funds spent on road and bridge improvements. For 2020, not including a paving grant, this was $3,111,934.56, or an amount equal to 42.1 percent of our total annual receipts. The recent Ohio fuel tax increase has greatly helped our cause, as the receipts increased 23 percent over 2019, while our annual cost of diesel fuel and gasoline was down 38 percent from that of 2019.

In spite of the challenges and limitations forced by the pandemic, we managed to resurfaced 30.92 miles of County roads by contract, applied chip-seal/fog seal surfaces to 25.25 miles with County personnel and equipment, construct two new bridges, complete eleven bridge rehabilitation and repair projects, and all of the many tasks necessary to maintain our large inventory of roads and bridges. We also never missed a work day.

Later in the year we began construction of a new truck storage/office facility which will be completed before mid-2021. This was imperative since we have simply outgrown our building constructed in 1977-78.

Our employees continue to perform all road and bridge construction and maintenance work, with the only exceptions being asphalt paving and road striping. Crews perform all surface sealing, snow/ice control, roadside mowing, and sign erection and maintenance, on 522.575 road miles. They also performed tree trimming and removal, replaced 31 culverts on County and Township roads, and made numerous ditch and drainage improvements.

Total spending for 2020 was $1,235,899.04 (21 percent) greater than 2019, but $288,463.59 (4 percent) less than the total year’s receipts.

2020 RECEIPTS

Fuel Tax: $3,626,131.63

Motor License Fees: $2,490,232.93

Motor License-Permissive: $422,842.19

Sales: $49,851.64

Recycling: $2,579.79

Grants/Reimbursements: $668,820.46

Interest: $129,982.68

TOTAL (2020): $7,390,441.32 (2019 Receipts: $6,347,812.87)

*Grants: $51,595.00

Sale of Assets: $306,596.00

Fuel Reimbursement: $57,777.23

Other: $252,852.23

TOTAL: $668,820.46

2020 EXPENDITURES

Resurfacing and Chip-Seal: $2,218,816.74

Bridge Construction and Maint.: $116,090.84

Wages and Salaries: $1,549,363.94

Fringe Benefits: $631,841.23

Equipment and Repairs: $977,573.22

Fuel (All Co. Departments): $156,548.70

Utilities/Bldg. Maint.: $33,547.36

Road Maint. Materials: $641,168.74

New Building: $777,026.96

TOTAL (2020): $7,101,977.73 (2019 Expenditures: $5,866,078.69)

IMPROVEMENTS

Miles of Road Resurfaced: 33.00

Centerline Striping: 295 road miles

Miles of Road Chip-sealed: 25.25

Edge line Striping: 375 lane-miles

New Bridges Constructed: 2

Bridges Rehabilitated: 2

Bridges Repaired: 9

EQUIPMENT PURCHASES

8 mowing tractors (net trade-in): $231,158.74

2-Dump Trucks-equipped: $261,444.00

Power road broom: $12,940.00

2-Material Spreaders: $9,836.00

Total net purchases: $515,378.74

ANNUAL MAINTENANCE DATA

County road culverts replaced: 4

Diesel used: 56,496 Gallons

Signs & posts purchased: $54,973.64

Gasoline used: 8,679 Gallons

Sign repair/replacement: 713 locations

Salt and ice grits purchased: $182,193.88

Township Road culverts and tile replaced: 27 locations

Crackseal material applied: 10,030 lbs.

MAINTENANCE RESPONSIBILITY

County Roads: 522.575 miles

County and Township Bridges (over 10’ span): 517

Large culverts: (30”-10 ft.): 365

Roadway culverts (12”-30”): 1703

Right-of-way: 3,335 acres

Stop signs: 819

Warning signs: 2228

Road name signs: 1326

2020 DETAILED EXPENDITURES

Maintaining roads and bridges involves many different tasks and responsibilities. The most visible are snow plowing and roadside mowing, but the continual repair and replacement of signs, maintaining drainage along and through the roads, repairs from weather events and vehicular accidents, and the trimming and removal of trees and brush along roads are never-ending tasks. Repairing and sealing cracks in asphalt pavement surfaces to prevent water intrusion is continuous. Our team chip-seals roads, builds new bridges, maintains and repairs existing bridges and culverts, inspects all bridges, maintains and repairs roads, and maintains and repairs all County equipment. They perform all types of road and bridge work with the exceptions of asphalt road resurfacing and the painting of the yellow and white lines on the pavement.

The department includes the County Engineer and thirty-one personnel, with twenty-seven at the Highway Department and four at the Courthouse Office. The office performs surveying and design, all bridge inspections, contract management, clerical and payroll, maintains tax maps, and checks and approves all deed transfers and new surveys.

Our most difficult challenge continues to be the maintenance of 522.575 miles of asphalt road surfaces, the integrity of 517 bridges, and to improve the system with available revenue in the face of ever-rising costs.

WAGES AND FRINGE (30.7 percent, -4.8 percent from 2019)

(Engineer, 31 full-time, one part-time)

Wages: $1,549,363.94

Pers: $215,509.37

Health Insurance: $347,428.60

Uniforms: $14,549.53

Medicare: $20,842.11

Wkrs. Comp.: $14,088.72

Drug Tests: $1,806.00

Adm. Fees: $3,346.42

Severance: $14,270.48

TOTAL: $2,181,205.17 (40.8percent fringe)

IMPROVEMENTS (43.9 percent, +3.0 percent from 2019)

(Road paving, sealing, construction, bridge costs)

Paving (30.92 miles): $1,956,097.52 ($2,694,235.89)*

Chip/Seal (25.25 miles): $262,719.22

Bridge Work: $116,090.84

Capital Improvements: $777,026.96**

TOTAL: $3,111,934.54

*$738,138.37 furnished by CSTP grant, paid to contractor

**Amount paid on new truck storage building

OVERHEAD (5.0 percent, -2.1 percent from 2019)

Utilities/Bldg. Maint.: $33,547.36

Parts and Supplies: $132,666.44

Fuel (all county depts.): $156,548.70

Lube/Filters: $13,610.99

Repairs by Others: $16,248.10

Dues, Advertising: $5,168.95

TOTAL: $357,790.54

ROAD MAINTENANCE MTLS. (9.0 percent, +2.8 percent from 2019)

Salt and Ice Grits: $182,193.88

Signs and Posts: $54,973.64***

Gravel: $31,149.15

Pav’t. Marking: $257,269.05 (by contract)

Drainage: $108,392.75

Asphalt: $7,190.27

TOTAL: $641,168.74

***$51,595.00 furnished by sign grant

For more information, contact the Darke County Engineer’s Office by calling 937-547-7375 or by emailing engineerdarke@gmail.com

By Jim Surber

Darke County Engineer