DARKE COUNTY - The Darke County Engineer’s Office has released its 2012 annual report, which details last year’s receipts and expenditures.
As reported in a previous article, the engineer’s office continues “to face the challenges of increasing costs and decreasing revenues.” The Darke County Engineer’s Office is now running at a revenue amount that was $21,342.17 dollars less than their 2006 amount of $5,183,892.03.
Despite the department’s funding challenges, 2012 expenditures were still reduced by $103,134.51 from 2011, while total receipts decreased by $277,711.28. Overall receipt reduction resulted from performing fewer cooperative construction projects with other agencies.
The engineer’s office receives its funding from gas tax and license fees which increased less than one third of one percent from last year, while the cost of road and bridge construction continues to rise.
Darke County Engineer Jim Surber combats the rising production costs by employing 30 percent fewer employees in the last 40 years and focusing on maintaining a fund balance as a defense against potential future budgetary shortfalls.
Last year, in addition to normal maintenance, the engineer’s office contracted the resurfacing of 31.7 miles on 13 different roads (about six percent of the total county mileage) and sealed 52.68 miles of road cracks.
In addition, the engineer’s office installed 1,012 new warning signs and 203 new road name signs into the county. In the course of 2012, three new bridges were built, which were on Hollansburg-Richmond Road, Ohio-Indiana State Line Road and Darke-Shelby County Line road.
Five bridges were also rehabilitated, one was widened and rehabilitated and two were repaired on County and Township roads. A total of 405 new bridges have been built on Darke County and township roads since 1977.
According to the report, in 2012 the engineer’s office spent 43 cents of the tax dollar for road and bridge improvement, seven cents for maintenance materials, 11 cents for overhead, five cents for equipment purchase and 34 cents for wages and fringe benefits.
According to Surber, the office is debt-free and owns 100 percent of its equipment. Surber stated that the Engineer’s Office does not receive funding for maintenance and construction of county roads and bridges from real estate taxes, sales taxes or the general fund.
Readers are encouraged to contact the Darke County Engineer’s Office with questions or comments at 937-547-7375 or firstname.lastname@example.org.