Former county plowing customers gear for change

IT’S COMING--This November, 2014, photo suggests snow is not far off, and residents who for decades have depended on the county road commission for driveway plowing will have to look elsewhere. Service is discontinued for the remaining 138 customers.
IT’S COMING–This November, 2014, photo suggests snow is not far off, and residents who for decades have depended on the county road commission for driveway plowing will have to look elsewhere. Service is discontinued for the remaining 138 customers.

by Nancy Besonen
Area residents who formerly contracted with Baraga County Road Commission for driveway snow plowing services are gearing up for a season of change. And most are finding the field of local contractors is mighty thin. Back in 1965 the Baraga County Road Commission (BCRC) adopted Act 387, allowing counties without a voted millage for snow removal to contract with owners of private driveways for snow plowing. The service was well received, peaking at 426 contracts in the winter of 1996. In 2002 the Road Commission quit accepting new contracts due to financial constraints. When regular snow plowing bills arrived in the fall of 2014, Baraga County’s remaining 138 contracting customers were informed the service would be discontinued for the winter of 2015. A committee of contract customers was swiftly assembled and appealed the commission’s decision, but the vote held. Road Commission Engineer Doug Mills cited reduced staff and funding, aging equipment and the desire to not compete with private contractors as contributing factors. Mills also noted the county would compile a list of local private snow plowing contractors which would be available the following spring. Former customers having difficulty finding contractors could request a copy by mail or at the Road Commission office on US-41 in L’Anse … To read more, subscribe to the L’Anse Sentinel online, or buy a print copy at our local retailers.