Despite the snowfall on Sunday that required our drivers to come in, I hope you all enjoyed the long holiday weekend. It’s crazy to think we are only one month away from 2024! As we ease our way into December, I want to share a few important updates from last week’s working session and board meeting.
During our working session, Dan Ackerman provided a thorough presentation regarding the 2023 year-end budget and 2024 preliminary budget. Overall, the WCRC budget for 2023 is healthy. We partnered with townships on nearly $8M of local road improvements, as well as completed multiple federal & state funded projects. Additionally, we are still in the process of building the new salt barn, which is a substantial investment for our Main Yard and which will help us provide good service both today and into the future. It was also noted that a handful of our 2023 projects have been pushed to 2024, and as a result, staff recommended an overall decrease in federal-state funds and expenditures to help mitigate the delayed and planned work for the upcoming year.
Looking ahead into the new year, WCRC continues to see supply chain delays in road equipment. We should receive cabs and chassis for the 8 International heavy trucks that were ordered back in 2021, along with a poly tanker that was ordered for dust control. The trucks will then be sent up to Truck & Trailer for upfitting, so we don’t expect to see them until late winter or early spring. As a result of these extensive delays, the board went ahead and approved the purchase of 5 Western Star 47X trucks that we hope to take delivery of in late 2024.
Dan explained that overall, WCRC has a stable fund balance for 2024. Although we have seen increases in the MTF fund, as well as increases in contributions from both the townships and our organization on the Local Road Matching program, our efforts to request that the Four-Year County-wide Roads & Non-Motorized millage renewal be placed on the 2024 ballot will continue. Stay tuned for more information on this throughout 2024.
Lastly, congratulations to Mike Bernbeck and James Hui on the awards they received from the Asphalt Pavement Association of Michigan (APAM) regarding the resurfacing of Huron River Dr between Clark Rd and Hogback Rd in Ann Arbor Township, and Carpenter Rd between Textile Rd and Ellsworth Rd in Pittsfield Township.
If you find yourself looking for something to do this weekend, check out the holiday parades taking place throughout the county (see graphic below for details). If the weather cooperates, we plan to have decorated vehicles participating in these parades. Of course, if the forecast calls for snowy/icy conditions then our drivers may be working to keep our roads clear!
Take care & stay safe,