April 22, 2004

Conservation Department To Spend More On County Roads

In a time of shrinking state aid, Scotland County received some good news from the Missouri Department of Conservation last week, when MDC officials announced they would be footing more of the bill to maintain the gravel roads serving the Indian Hills Conservation Area (IHCA) near Bible Grove.

A good neighbor has become an even better one, said Presiding Commissioner Mike Stephenson. MDC has always helped the county pay for the rock for these roads, but now they will be taking on the full financial responsibility.

Prior to the new agreement, MDC had paid $2 a ton for gravel for the roads, accounting for about $2,400 a year with 1,200 tons of gravel being installed annually.

The arrangement was part of the countys policy for governmental and not-for-profit organizations. The county charged $2 a ton to purchase the rock and then hauled it for free. This fee is going up to $2.50 this year.

But that change will not effect MDC under the new agreement. Contract Supervisor Gary S. Nivens detailed the new deal, which will pay the entire cost of the road rock process.

MDC will pay for the gravel for two miles of County Road 301 going up to and through the Indian Hills Conservation Area. County Road 311 leading south off of Route T for 2.75 miles also will be covered as will County Roads 353 and 355, which lead north from the IHCAs west boundary for approximately 1.5 miles.

This just shows people that their sales tax money is going to good use, said local MDC Agent Gary Miller. The department is helping communities see first hand where their money is being spent.

The Indian Hills Conservation Area covers just shy of 4,500 acres in the southern part of Scotland County. It can be accessed from Highway 15 or from Route T.

But MDC was not done there. The agency also will continue to contribute funding for road rock around Lake ShowMe. Approximately $1,680 will go toward gravel for County Roads 607, 601 and 512, which cover a combined 4.2 miles around the lake.

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