September 8, 2016
Columbia County is one of several counties throughout the state now utilizing a program that allows counties to share things like paving equipment and staff.
The agreement, dubbed the Managing Oregon Resources Efficiently, or MORE Intergovernmental Agreement, aims to maximize the efficiency of public money by sharing equipment, staffing and services.
The IGA has sent county road crews into Clatsop County to help re-stripe centerlines and fog lines in that area, using a striping machine owned by Columbia County, Dave Hill, director of the Columbia County Roads Department, explained.
“This is a very specialized piece of equipment which makes no sense for them to buy their own,” Hill stated. “And in exchange Clatsop County has provided their liquid asphalt distributors and aggregate chip spreader with operators for us to apply chip seals to several of our roads. Our chip spreader is broken down and would be very expensive to repair and therefore it is most efficient for us to cooperate with Clatsop County by using their equipment and services for this work.”
The IGA has also allowed the county to borrow a recycled asphalt pug mill from Gilliam County, Hill stated, which uses asphalt grindings from other road projects to mix with a rejuvenating agent that allows the excess material to be reused on county roads. In exchange for using Gilliam County’s equipment, Columbia County has agreed to lend its paving machine and road department employees to lay the recycled asphalt product on roads in that county.
The IGA has been in full swing this summer, as municipal agencies across the state scrambled to complete infrastructure projects during warm, dry weather. Under the agreement, counties can also swap for things like public works, transportation, engineering, emergency management and similar services.
Hill said the communal approach is better for counties, both from a budget and efficiency perspective.
“By cooperating with other agencies and exchanging specialized equipment, labor and services, we are able to provide the public with good products without each agency having to purchase the specialized equipment,” Hill stated.