Boone County to spend almost half a million dollars on property

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HALLSVILLE - The Boone County Commission will purchase property from the Missouri Department of Transportation for $450,000. The property will act as a public works facility for street maintenance vehicles.

Boone County Presiding Commissioner Dan Atwill said the county can afford this expense.

"We have reserved funds that can be used for this," Atwill said. "There will be no need to go deeply into general revenue for this purchase. In fact, over time it will pay for itself."

Atwill said this new location will be necessary to keep up with county's growing need for highway maintenance.

"A lot of the road maintenance that we have done in the past has been a result of cooperation with the state, matching funds on certain things," Atwill said. "Those funds are no longer available. So the county will have more responsibility on its own to maintain its roads."

Atwill said the county is responsible for maintaining about 800 miles of highway in Missouri. Because of this, street maintenance vehicles sometimes have to drive far distances. Atwill said by adding another center of operation, the county can reduce the distance maintenance trucks have to drive.

Though the new property is only about 15 miles north of the location of the main facility, Atwill said these 15 miles will make a big difference on annual fuel costs.

"The current estimates are that it will save about $60,000 a year, just by not having a long trip back from the northern areas of the county," Atwill said. "Now that's conditioned on the price of fuel. If the price of fuel goes up, the savings will be greater."

Although the deal is not yet finalized, Atwill expects the purchase to close sometime in the next few months.