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County Commission Communications
A Periodic Column Written by Ed Douglas, Presiding Commissioner

MAY 30, 2018

Early last month, our County Commission had our annual CART Rock meeting with the 13 Livingston County Township Boards. At this meeting, we review the details of distribution of CART rock funds that each township uses (in addition to their own funds) to purchase rock for their roads.

CART rock money comes from the State of Missouri for each county and is collected from the gasoline taxes. This year, we are distributing $315,000 to the townships, which is distributed by the number of road miles in each township. There are 622.12 miles of township roads, but there are three townships with more than 60 miles of road and one township with only 16 miles of road. So the rock is distributed based on the "percentage" of road miles each township has. For example, a township with 62 miles would receive 10 percent of the $315,000 (62 divided by 622 equals 10 percent).

Townships also have their own source of funds they can use from their individual township property tax levies. Some townships have more funds than others primarily based on the property values with their township. Chillicothe Township has the majority of the City of Chillicothe within its boundaries, so it has higher property valuations.

In April of 2017, our voters passed a sales tax increase that began in late fall of 2017, and part of the proceeds from this tax is designated to assist the townships in improving county roads. Our commission told the voters that our plan was to use half of this $200,000 to improve two miles of road a year in each township to a higher standard. This higher standard includes adequate drainage ditches, a crowned road, adequate shoulders and sufficient rock. Our County Road and Bridge crew inspects this two miles of road to insure that it meets this higher standard before the new funds of CART Rock are distributed to each township.

Because each township is required to improve two miles of road each year as well as touch up the improved road miles from the past years, each township is given the same amount of money - $7,692 ($100,000 divided by 13 townships). The other $100,000 will be used to install drainage tubes of under two feet in diameter for townships. This does not include landowner interest tubes which are paid for, at least partially, by the landowner.

The county has always installed drainage tubes two feet and over, but the township bears the cost of the smaller tubes. This will save townships $100,000 total they otherwise would have spent themselves, which they can now use for extra rock or for another need. Just like the two miles of road, installing the smaller tubes helps provide accountability for the extra funds that we are spending as good drainage is extremely important for good roads. These tubes will be provided on an "as needed" basis by the township. Any new program raises questions as to how exactly the program is to be implemented or is there a better way to spend funds to assist the townships. Our Commission believes this is our best plan to do what we think needs to be done.

I want to thank the township board members for their assistance in working with us. These board members have a very difficult job of maintaining their roads, and they work extremely hard to do the best they can with the resources available.

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