Athens Review, Athens, Texas

December 28, 2012

Progress in Precinct 4

County Commissioner tells of advances during 2012

Rich Flowers
Athens Daily Review

Athens — Since taking office in 2011, Precinct 4 County Commissioner Ken Geeslin has been steadily upgrading the road and bridge headquarters in LaRue.

With the county budget tight, Geeslin said, the improvements have taken some imagination, hard work, and a knack for finding a good deal on a needed piece of equipment here and there.

“It’s a balancing act,” Geeslin said. “We’ve been trying to improve things here, but we also have to make sure the roads are maintained.”

Major changes have been done at the precinct dump. The drive up to the place where the trash is unloaded is smoother, and a new wall has been built beside the dumpster. Geeslin said it was built from concrete blocks used along highways as retaining walls.

“They weigh just over a ton a piece,” Geeslin said. “If we ever have to move them again, we can just lift them up, and move them wherever we want.”

The changes weren’t just for looks, Geeslin added, but because some of the right-of-way was taken for the U.S. Highway 175 widening project, and to make things safer for citizens coming to use the dump.

“People driving up County Road 4712 don’t see trash anymore. It’s almost been like a LaRue beautification project,” Geeslin said.

Geeslin was also able to find a new office building for the attendant who takes payments from those who come to dump trash at a bargain price. The new building had been bought by the Federal Emergency Management Agency during floods in Missouri. Geeslin found it, unused, for $5,500. Geeslin said utility costs are down bout 75 percent from the old building.

In July, 2011, the precinct began offering Single Stream Recycling, free-of-charge to citizens who separate all the recyclable materials from the other trash they bring to the dump. Since the customer only pays for the non-recyclable materials, he saves money.

“It’s been very successful,” Geeslin said. “They fill it up about every six weeks.”

One of Geeslin’s first changes came early in 2011, when he had a concrete floor put in the precinct barn where the vehicles are stored.  The workers were pleased to no longer have to work on their trucks and equipment on a dirt floor.

With 2012 ending, Geeslin has his sights on  a large 4,500 ton pile of rock on the precinct property that is waiting to be used in seal coating road projects in the spring.

“It sells for about $45 a ton,” Geeslin said. “I bought that for about $12 a ton. We’ve got all of our rocks. All we have to buy now is our emulsion.”