Thursday, October 23, 2008

Horse Power

I have to be discreet taking pictures of our Amish neighbors. I always wish I could take more, but they don't appreciate it very much, so I only take pictures from a distance or from behind. This morning, Nathan was getting some help with grading our driveway after the new ditches and culverts have been installed. The road commission dumped gravel and kinda flattened it out a little, but it was pretty rough. When heavy equipment fails, try horses!


  1. What a fun story to post on your blog. I work for an organizaiton that works with road commissions. What county do you live in?

  2. Hmmm... I carefully avoid putting any personal information on this blog... :-)

    I'm not complaining about the road commission. They did a decent job and did their best with out trees. (Although, so far they have not put our mailbox back up...) They also didn't charge us for our culverts and extension as I later heard they were supposed to. I just thought the driveway could have done with a little more attention...

    Thanks for visiting! It's nice to get comments! :-)

  3. I understand. When your blog posting popped up in my "google alerts" for road commission, I was in the middle of a project dealing with inner-agency cooperation. Road commissions swap plow routes to save fuel, share equipment and help each other in many ways to improve efficiency and save taxpayers money.

    I was in the process of preparing something for the legislature and media on this issue. Your e-mail reminded me of where this country came from.

    I have always admired the amish lifestyle. When I was a child, my father took out the tractor and graded areas missed by the road commission. Unfortunately, other than in small pockets, most people don't think this way today.

    I was just curious if this took place in Michigan, and if so what county. I do understand not posting personal information.

    Michigan road commission budgets are so stressed that they litterally cannot afford the fuel to make the extra pass on these gravel roads. We are working with 2008 costs and the same funding level we had in 2001 (for some road commissions 1998).

    Again, thank you for reminding me of the what "community" means.

    Monica Ware
    Public Relations Specialist
    County Road Association of Michigan

  4. Oh, I see! Yes, we are in southern Michigan. As far as I know, this ditching project has been put off for the last couple of years. We were surprised when they finally did it (especially knowing the very poor economy in Michigan.)

    The dirt roads around here do get pretty bad in the winter and spring. (though I know of roads that get much worse than ours!) The road commission does tend to put off grading the roads. It doesn't get done often. We're hoping the ditches will help!

  5. That is the trend and without increased funding, it may only get worse. Just like in your family budget, you can only spend what you have. When costs increase (the costs of construction materials and fuel have skyrocketed in the past several years)your family has to make cuts to compensate.

    Unfortunately road commissions have been forced to reduce services, including gravel road maintenance. With a hard winter expected and salt costs up 28% over last year, it may be worse next spring.

    I work with the commissions in Southern Michigan. If road conditions become dangerous, please let them know. They really do care and are trying to do the best service possible with the resouces available.

    If you would like to learn more, there is a great report entitled Michigan's Roads in Crisis at