Dear Fremont Residents
Happy New Year from Fremont Township Highway Department! I’d like to introduce myself—My name is Alicia Dodd, and I am the new Highway Commissioner, replacing Bill Grinnell, a long-time Fremont Township Highway veteran. Our department is charged with maintaining 40 miles of roads and their right of ways. This involves paving, plowing, patching, signage, roadside trimming, and roadside drainage. We also offer chipping service to our residents for trees limbs that fall during storms as well as a twice a year chipping service scheduled in advance with HOAs.
Our department replaces aged culverts under driveways and roadways. An ideal time to replace these is when a new driveway is being installed, although we will replace failing culverts as needed. The replacement pipe is made of plastic, with an indefinite lifetime, rather than the corrugated metal pipe which lasts approximately 20-30 years. Homeowners are required to call for a culvert inspection before replacing their driveways.
Our roadside maintenance involves tree and shrub trimming to prevent damage to large, passing vehicles and to improve visibility. It’s our policy to also remove woody, invasive plants, like buckthorn and honeysuckle, in our right of ways.
Our paving schedule is generally based on a 20-year rotation. Paving costs account for the largest percentage of our budget each year, so prolonging the life of our roads makes good financial sense. Please do not burn leaves on our roads. In addition to being against Countryside Fire Ordinance, burning in the streets contributes to significant damage to our roads.
Stormwater issues on private property are generally handled by Lake County Planning, Building and Development Department, who can provide guidance on surface drainage (or lack thereof) and possible solutions. Our department becomes involved when stormwater could negatively affect our roads, causing icing and surface degradation.
In areas with storm sewers, our department provides street cleaning, a fall leaf cleanup of the right of ways and curb line, and maintenance of the storm sewer system. Routine maintenance involves removing sediment and debris from the storm sewer’s catch basins, to prevent clogging and reduce the sediment flowing downstream into lakes/creeks. Non-routine maintenance includes unclogged blocked pipes and replacing aged and deteriorating structures. Road salt from winter operations ages our concrete structures, which require replacing roughly every 25 years.
Snowplowing is arguably our most crucial role at the highway department. Providing safe driving conditions is paramount. We are also actively working on ways to reduce our salt usage while providing safe driving conditions. In addition to the environmental effects of salt in our lakes and groundwater, it also contributes to countless dollars of corrosive damage to vehicles and infrastructure. Your highway department takes all of these factors into consideration and does its best to provide a responsible balance. All of our drivers have attended Lake County’s Deicing Program and whenever possible, our trucks are equipped with equipment to make our winter operations more efficient and effective. We try to be particularly conscientious with our salt usage around lake areas.
In addition to continuing with these services, my goal is to improve communications with our residents, improve transparency with our projects each year, and add efficiency using Geographic Information Services and a progressive roadside maintenance plan.
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 847-223-2848. I look forward to working with you! Happy 2020!