Shelby highway superintendent cites lots of progress in his first term

Posted 4 November 2023 at 11:45 am


I wanted to reintroduce myself to Shelby voters and give you facts from the Highway Department in Shelby.

In the last 4 years our department has made vast improvements around town despite Covid and cost escalation with inflation. Even though municipalities get decreased rates we are still up against unfriendly budget expenses.

In the 4 years of my term I have endured many price increases. Diesel prices have ranged from $0.90 – $4 a gallon, salt is up $10 per ton (we use on average 1,800 tons in a season), replacement parts are up 1.5-2 times in price. Black top and emulsion oil all up.

The department’s focus is always to fix roads. We have accomplished many miles with the helpful hands of shared services. The town’s equipment has a few years on it, we are in the process of updating. These machines are still very much useful, safe and ready to be used. The salt barn is currently two-thirds full, diesel tanks will be filled in the next few weeks as prices continue to drop.

At this time, I’d like to take you on a “drive around” the town. As we drive around, take a look at the road improvements. Minimal to no potholes, even widths, great water drainage, and shoulders maintained. Smooth ride, huh?!

Our first stop is the town building. Oh, look! A resident is utilizing the electronic waste program. Many pallets of E-waste get sent out monthly from our building. Take a look at our parking lot as we pull in, it has been repaved – a much needed facelift.

The town was able to save thousands in tax dollars by repaving the parking lot while the local construction company was in Medina milling and paving village roads, less time moving machinery around.

Let’s head inside to the court room. Ahh the aromas of fresh paint and carpet. Many thanks to the Job Core students who came to scrape, prime and repaint the walls! It is wonderful to meet new people and use more town resources available to us.

As we leave the building, let’s give a friendly wave to the men of my department. Without their skills life would be a little more hectic. They just returned from a water main break on East Shelby Road, our “problem child” if you will. This will be break #12 on the same line. They did a great job out in the cold. The pipe was laying on a large rock which caused the hole.

As we drive around I am constantly looking at possible safety issues and ways to make the town better. Trees needing removal, culverts, roads and roadside maintenance, and out-of-place water. We are always looking for water leaks that are going undetected, but we know they are there.

This year we found one large masked leak near a creek. The water storage tank on Route 31A was refilling daily, after the fix the tank is refilling 1.5 to 2 times a week. The weather conditions this spring/summer gave us the ability to find this leak we had been searching for. After the repair, we were back in business.

December 2022 to March 2023 we bought from the Village of Medina 18.5 million gallons of water, March – June 2023 we bought 20 million gallons, June – September 2023 we bought 15 million gallons (this number was after the leak repair). So a savings of 5 million gallons at close to $6 per thousand. One billable quarter savings about $30,000 to the taxpayer. Let’s see what next quarter does.

I will continue to seek and repair leaks as they come. I will also continue to find a way to stop flushing roughly 2 million gallons on a dead-end line.

Continuing on our ride, let’s head past the cemeteries. Looking pretty good. The town contracts out this job to save time and money. The highway team can now focus on other town jobs and projects throughout the sunny days of summer. Many residents do not know the town has 21 acres over 11 cemeteries needing timely mowing and gravestone maintenance.

As we finish this small tour I would like to thank you for riding along. I have enjoyed the 4 years you elected me to bring much needed change to the town. The residents of the town have made a large impact in what we do daily to progress the highway department forward. Please continue to wave and say hi as you see us out working.

I would like to thank the residents of Shelby for letting me place a sign in there yard, answer the door as I go door to door, and for the kind words of support for my second term. I am always available to answer questions and/or concerns.

There has been so much misinformation or ½ truths strewn about in the last few weeks. It disheartens me. The facts listed above (and on my website are some of the many accomplishments from my team and me in the last 4 years (2-plus if you remove the time for Covid shutdown). We are in the groove working together and I ask for your support November 7th for 4 more years to “finish what we have started.”

Thank you,

Dale S. Root

Shelby Highway Superintendent