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Siler Reappointed to Houghton County Road Commission

Bill Siler will continue to serve on the Houghton County Road Commission. 

The Houghton County Board of Commissioners reappointed the current road commission chair to a new term at a special meeting on Friday.

The decision was not unanimous. County Commissioner Glenn Anderson expressed concern about the Road Commission’s handling of the Coles Creek Road water main break that has left a group of homes without water for a month…

“I don’t blame the road commission for coming up against an 80-year-old water system that’s an orphan, that’s not regulated, not permitted; but on the other hand, I think it could have been handled better.”

County Commission Chair Al Koskela didn’t feel the Coles Creek situation was the rod commission’s fault…

“I’m looking more towards OHM, who was in charge of that project and pretty unclear about that water line in the middle of the road. There was no suggestions, or instructions, or anything for the contractor to do something with it. Period.”

County Commissioner Tom Tikkanen said he felt the road commission did exceptional work after the Father’s Day Flood…

“They were ready and willing and able to get roads back open and serviceable much quicker than anyone would have anticipated, with the very, very limited financial resources that were awarded.”

Anderson also noted the potential appearance of a conflict of interest, because Siler is a contractor who bids on road commission jobs. County Commissioner Roy Britz formerly served on the Road Commission with Siler…

“I saw nothing to indicate it. I saw the opening of the bids. I read the bids. He won some, he didn’t get any. I have not seen anything where it comes to change orders where it was brought up at the board meetings that would indicate that he was influencing, or potential influence.”

In the end, Siler was confirmed by a 3-2 vote, with Koskela, Tikkanen and Britz in favor, and Anderson and commissioner Gretchen Janssen opposing.

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