Saturday, June 13, 2009

"Saving" Money

\World According to tim\

Rural Mich. counties turn failing roads to gravel

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Some Michigan counties have turned a few once-paved rural roads back to gravel to save money.

More than 20 of the state's 83 counties have reverted deteriorating paved roads to gravel in the last few years, according to the County Road Association of Michigan. The counties are struggling with their budgets because tax revenues have declined in the lingering recession.

Montcalm County converted nearly 10 miles of primary road to gravel this spring.

The county estimates it takes about $10,000 to grind up a mile of pavement and put down gravel. It takes more than $100,000 to repave a mile of road.

Reverting to gravel has happened in a few other states but it is most typical in Michigan. At least 50 miles have been reverted in the state in the past three years.
Honestly? If they are doing this in your area, I'd complain. The inconvenience of these machines blocking your road is one thing, but the unnecessary cost when roads turn to gravel anyway... it's inexcusable.

I posted yesterday about my former local government fighting the spending monster, but with this story I'm reminded of a bit from Robert Fulghum's book, "Maybe, (Maybe Not)"
"One January evening the board shifted to an even more fascinating problem. On the entrance side of the church, the driveway had developed potholes. Patching had not helped, so it seemed the driveway would have to be repaved. An expensive proposition. However, on the exit side, nearest the church school, the driveway was smooth, encouraging a level of speed thought dangerous to children. Speed bumps would have to be built there and signs posted. More expense.

"Three hours had drained away while every possible dimension of this driveway problem had been considered. No solution in sight, the meeting fumbled on.

"From his seat outside the board circle, Dugan raised his hand to make a proposal. “Leave the potholes on the entrance side and dig potholes on the exit side. Spray a little tar in them. Call them “speedholes.” He could do it with a shovel and a couple of cans of hot tar in a couple of hours. Free."

Occam's Razor states, "entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily" or that the explanation of any phenomena should make as few assumptions as possible. This is most often stated as, "Of several acceptable explanations for a phenomenon, the simplest is preferable."

Tim's Razor states, "government spending should not be multiplied unnecessarily" or that, "Of several acceptable solutions for a problem, the simplest is preferable."

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