Friday, April 20, 2018

County spent $65,000 on tree cutting on three roads

We finally received the county’s accounting for the cost of cutting trees on a section of West Rosebud and parts of Fiddler Creek (a gravel road to Dean) and Ingersoll Road (a gravel cutoff to Roscoe).
Maybe taxpayers here won’t be surprised that the county spent $65,000 for maybe 10 miles of road, while there seem more pressing needs.
Perhaps it could have paid for a trained dispatcher or some work on the rock slide that has shut off traffic up the Stillwater for months or the alleys in Absarokee that are ignored.
Perhaps it would have been better spent on anything that didn’t simply wreck vistas and fly in the face of vigorous objection from a majority of residents who live where the cutting of stately ponderosas was done absent a verified need.
Of course, you have to trust the $65,000 is an accurate accounting. It may not be reliable. If it is, it’s a waste of both money and trees. Since the county did not supply what I requested, which was the total for the entire county, maybe we can calculate based on what they did provide.
Say about 10 miles at $6,500 a mile, multiplied by the 950 county road miles. Wow, more than $6 million maybe. Naturally, not all miles have trees, but judging from the bushes that were hacked down and other foliage whacked away, it might be fair.
The “Road Czar” said he was clearing all rights of way on all county roads.
Perhaps to compensate the county could get free trees to replace those. April 29 is Arbor Day when free trees are available.
It will take a half century to get back to what was there, but that’s the real price for the witless work that was done.

–Dan Burkhart