IRON RIVER—Although the issue may be moot in a few weeks, clarification of seasonal weight restriction signs was discussed at length at the Iron County Road Commission’s March 13 meeting.
In January, a revision of the seasonal weight restriction policy was made, changing it to read, “No load for vehicles weighing over five tons.” New signs were posted.
Commissioners, along with ICRC Superintendent Doug Tomasoski, have been fielding different interpretations of the policy.
The intent of the policy change, said Road Restriction Committee Chairman Ernie Schmidt, was to allow delivery trucks as well as pickup trucks carrying loads such as firewood, equipment or other lighter loads access on county roads during seasonal restrictions.
The question called, said Tomasoski, whether or not the restrictions apply to the gross load or the weight of the load.
If a truck is over five tons, but isn’t carrying a load, then is it permitted on the roads?
A pickup truck can be empty, but pulling a trailer with a load over five tons?
When you added the five-ton limit, is it the load only? This needs clarification, Tomasoski said.
For this season, interpretation will likely remain the call of the Road Commission, Tomasoski said.
Clarification was also requested on the role of the Road Commission with the Heritage Trail non-motorized bike path project.
Acting as its administrative agent, Tomasoski said that although the ICRC has no fiscal involvement, there are some administrative costs, which should be reimbursed through the grant.
He explained that County Board Chairman Wayne Wales had asked him to research a cost estimate of the project to find out if it could be constructed for less than the current estimated cost.
This he did, he said, without spending much time.
Tomasoski reported that the circuits are shut off on the radio tower, and Iron River won’t hold the Road Commission to a long-term agreement. The equipment will come off the tower when weather permits.
The Road Commission website is up but still under construction, noted office manager Darlene Anderson.
Tomasoski reported to the board, following a request from last month’s meeting, that he had talked to other counties about their use of GPS on trucks.
Gogebic County, he said, is looking into it, but only for use during the winter months. Their estimates included $400 to $600 per unit cost, with $35 to $40 per month per unit for service and monitoring.
Then, he said, who is assigned to sit and do the monitoring?
Tomasoski also researched the cost of security cameras for the Oss Road garage. Three exterior cameras, four interior cameras and the capability of digitally recording data was estimated at about $7,000. Fire security would be extra.
“If we were going to purchase them, we’d have to demonstrate that we need them,” said Schmidt, referring to the comment that there have been no security issues at the garage.
Refinancing of the bonds on the Oss Road garage was successful, Tomasoski said. The Road Commission was given a “Triple A” rating, and should see a savings of about 13 percent over the life of the bonds.
“This will save us approximately $16,000 per year,” he said.
in other business:
--Bids were received for computer equipment. Tomasoski will review them.
--Equipment repair costs of $6,350 were approved.
--Approval was given for Tomasoski to put out summer construction material bids.
--A work bee was scheduled for Tuesday, March 20, at 8 a.m. for the purpose of discussion new truck specifications, temporary summer employment hiring, the superintendent’s contract and work rules.