IRON RIVER—The historical research arm of the Iron County Road Commission was asked to go back into action during its monthly meeting Nov. 12.
The request came from Ray Kudwa, Mastodon Township trustee. A few months ago, Kudwa asked Road Commission Superintendent Doug Tomasoski to research how much crack-filling the commission had done in each of the county’s seven townships over the last seven years.
At the Oct. 8 Road Commission meeting, Tomasoski presented an extensive report on crack-filling in Iron County over the previous seven years. At that time, Kudwa sounded satisfied with the results.
But at the Nov. 12 meeting, Kudwa said now that he has examined the figures more closely, he has more questions, especially after comparing Mastodon Township data to Stambaugh Township data.
Tomasoski, who had injured a shoulder the week before, wasn’t present to answer them.
Kudwa said he had looked at percentages and differences between the two. “The percentages—they did calculate apples to apples, so that was good,” he said.
“Then we took the difference between the apples and the apples, and it comes out to where, bottom line, Stambaugh Township is not only high, they’re extremely high compared to the rest of the townships.”
Kudwa said Stambaugh Township got twice as much crack-filling as second place Mansfield Township and 4½ times as much as third place Mastodon Township. “Stambaugh Township is way outstanding percentage-wise, apples to apples, vs. the rest of the townships,” he said.
He continued that his township board feels that “Through the upcoming years, Stambaugh Township should be backed off on crack-filling, and the rest of the townships should be picked up.”
As for primary roads, Kudwa said the Mastodon Township Board wants “another seven-year look-back to see how much money was spent on primary roads, on which roads and which townships, specifically state and federal dollars.”
He also asked the Road Commission to research how many primary roads were converted from pavement to gravel. “Maybe get a 20-year look-back,” Kudwa said. “There’s probably not that many.” He cited the Airport Road to Horserace Rapids, as one that was turned to gravel.
“What are we going to do with that?” Road Board Chairman Dan Germic asked.
“Why do you want that information?” Commissioner Ernest Schmidt also asked, “Does your township feel we’re turning our roads back to gravel when they shouldn’t be?”
Kudwa said they don’t know. “The question came up: Are some of the township primary roads getting fixed and repaved, and some of them are just saying, Well, screw it, we’ll just gravel them—we’re not going to fix it, we won’t patch it, we’ll just scarify it up and put it in gravel.
“We want to take a look and see what is going on there. It may not be going on. Again, we just want the information so we can find out what’s going on, and then we’ll take it from there. So we’re not pointing any fingers.”
“I just don’t know if it’s feasible to get all that information,” Germic replied. “Is it?”
“Well sure,” Kudwa said. “That should be fairly easy to get.” The commission left it at that.