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Mantrap Twp. pleads for road maintenance help

Milica Stanfel, a Mantrap Township official, alerts the Hubbard County Board that there is a shortage of road contractors. She anticipates more townships will need help.

Winter tire. Car tire on snow road. Tires on snowy road detail.
Winter tire. Car tire on snow road. Tires on snowy road detail.
Milan - stock.adobe.com
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Milica Stanfel, a Mantrap Township supervisor, begged the Hubbard County Board to assist with township road maintenance.

“I’m coming here to ask for help because we have lost our road contractor,” she said. “I have been working on this since last fall. I have exhausted every place that I know where to go.”

She spoke to county commissioners during the public comment period of their Tuesday, Aug. 16 meeting. She provided a road map, prioritizing school and mail routes in Mantrap Township, along with road names and mileage.

“I’m begging. We have no road contractor,” Stanfel continued, adding the township board will be sending letters to residents, schools and the post office “informing them of our dilemma.”Stanfel said, “We’ve gotten many calls about people wanting to just plow their own roads. Well, with a pickup, that only goes so far. There’s liability issues. We’re not really excited about that, but that’s exactly what I think people are going to start doing.”

Stanfel asked the county highway department to assist with its resources.

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“Road maintenance is more than plowing, but right now, the dilemma is plowing,” she added.

County commissioner Char Christenson asked Stanfel if she had checked with other townships. She had.

“Nevis Township has their own equipment, but they’re looking for a driver. The other townships are covered by the contractors in this area. I have contacted them numerous times, offering them a monthly stipend. I’ve gotten no response,” Stanfel replied. “I’m exhausted. I don’t know what to do. I’m asking for direction and help.”

County commissioner David De La Hunt asked if Mantrap Township Board had attempted a request for bids.

“Yes, since March,” Stanfel replied. “We’ve done it all.”

Stanfel reported their former road contractor plans to retire and stop maintaining other townships next year, “so it won’t be just us. Thorpe (Township) is out right now, too. I think they have a private gentleman to do their roads, but that’s pretty much minimal road care.”

Later in the meeting, Hubbard County Public Works Coordinator Jed Nordin said, “I think we need to reach out to these contractors because we also use some of these contractors for our gravel maintenance. What we do is, on paper, we’ve got a little over 100 miles that’s contracted out. We’ll use them early on in the process, when we get a snowfall so that the road is open. We’ll go back with our forces to either sand or salt the road or wing out wider.”

Nordin said he’d ask contractors if they can free up some time for townships.

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Shannon Geisen is editor of the Park Rapids Enterprise.
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