Commissioners give invite to military to perform exercises

Staff Writer

Howard County Commissioners approved an invitation to the United States military to conduct unconventional warfare training in Howard County again and gave the go-ahead to increase road boring permit fees by $400 during their monthly meeting Monday.
“We have a letter from Thomas Meade who is a commander for the U.S. Army,” Howard County Judge Kathryn Wiseman relayed to the court. “He’s asking for an invitation this year for military training for unconventional warfare and Exercise 18.”
In other business, companies will be paying more to apply to lay pipe under country roads, but the new fees will not go into effect for the next 30 days.
During the meeting, Road and Bridge Administrator Brian Klinksiek brought a proposal to the court in regards to increasing the road boring permit fee from $100 to $500.
“I am asking to raise the road boring fee,” said Klinksiek. “That was based on some information further south, not necessarily a neighboring county.”
In addition to this, Klinksiek also wanted to instate a penalty for companies who violate codes or do not get a permit with the penalty, also costing another $500.
“Additionally wanting to know if there was a possibility to put a $500 penalty for failure to get a permit,” stated Klinksiek.
Klinksiek added the fees currently do not cover the cost of maintaining the roads and hopes that the increase in price will help Howard County capability to keep the roads repaired and useable.
“The weaker our roads are with every hole we punch under them, and sooner or later that is a significant maintenance problem for the county,” Klinksiek said.
However, the change was met with some concern from a company called CrownQuest who has been working in Howard County for around 20 years. The company had a representative present to address their concerns to the court.
“We just wanted to voice our concern, the current permit fee is $100, but the county is thinking about increasing it to between $500 and $1,000,” said Lauren Melear, Representative for CrownQuest. “We were just concerned it could add up for oil and gas companies, especially when you have multiple lines on one road bore.”