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Move Over, Thrift Store: Lake County Talks $190K for Roads, Bridges, Conservation

Last updated on 2013.02.25

My neighbors anticipate that the "community" thrift store steering committee will come to make the hard pitch for the community's money next week, asking the Madison City Commission for $150,000 Monday night, then asking the Lake County Commission for another $150,000 Tuesday morning.

But the Lake County Commission already plans to discuss adding $190,000 to this year's county budget on Tuesday... for things the community actually needs:

The Lake County Commission will hold a hearing at 9:15 a.m. on July 3, 2012 in the commission meeting room, to consider supplementing the 2012 annual budget as follows: Soil Conservation budget $15,000 and Road & Bridge budget $175,000 [Lake County Commission, public notice, published 2012.06.26].

We learned last year that Lake County has 13 structurally deficient bridges. Freeze and flood have turned a number of county roads to rumble-strip roller coasters. Run-off damage (from increased field drainage?) and crop-price pressures to farm every acre raise the importance of soil conservation. Fixing roads and bridges puts some people to work and gets the rest of us to work. Soil conservation protects farm jobs and feeds us.

If Lake County has $190,000 available, I don't even blink at their spending it on basic infrastructure and conservation. That publicly necessary expenditure should knock the thrift store off the county's spending agenda.

Related Update 08:12 CDT: KC Willis has opened a 7500-square foot thrift store in Whiteclay, Nebraska, to serve the needs of our Pine Ridge neighbors. The thrift store appears to be Willis's exercise in counterculture.