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Commissioner-proposed road levy will be on June ballot

News from Lake County Commissioners

When voters in Lake County cast their votes in the June primary election they will have the opportunity to weigh in on a road levy that the Lake County Commissioners decided to put on the ballot. If approved, the levy would raise about $400,000 over two years to purchase road oil to be used to rehabilitate 20-25 miles of chip sealed roads in the county. Presently, the county road budget of just over $2 million a year does not provide enough extra dollars to address the deteriorating condition of many of our chip sealed roads.  

The county’s plan is to try to address those chip sealed roads that serve as arterials and could be restored to good condition by an additional coat of oil, sand, and gravel. The most significant cost in this process is the road oil applied. All of the work would be performed by the Lake County Road Department. No roads that are presently gravel, or roads that are in need of a complete rebuild would be considered for chip seal with the additional dollars. Traffic counts will be conducted this summer and a list of potential projects will be developed for consideration for work by the road department which would begin in the summer of 2019. Commissioners hope that an additional chip seal coat will extend the life of many miles of our roads by addressing them now rather than putting off maintenance for additional years.

Yearly tax increase for a home with a market value of $100,000 would be $5.20 and a home with a market value of $200,000 would be $10.40 a year for the two-year life span of the project. Properties that are located within the incorporated areas of the City of Polson, the City of Ronan, and the town of St. Ignatius will not be subject to the proposed levy. Commissioners are evaluating all other tax levies, for potential savings, to minimize the tax impact of this voted levy.

The vast majority of chip seal projects in the past 20 years have been citizen initiated Road Improvement Projects. Each summer the County Road Department prepares and chip seals several miles of road with the cost absorbed by the property owners who benefit from the improved road.  

Residents with questions regarding the levy, or those who might want to comment, can do so by contacting the commissioners by email at or phone 406-883-7203 or the road supervisor at 406-883-7206.

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