BLOOMFIELD, Iowa — Just about everyone in the Heartland has seen the Amish community riding in buggies.
Not being motor vehicles and having special wheels, the buggies require thick gravel roads.
“Amish buggies tend to have real narrow, steel rim wheels and they do tend to crush the gravel," said Davis County Supervisor Ron Bride.
Crushed gravel eventually turns into powder. When the Heartland receives rain, what’s left of the gravel mixes with the dirt making it hard for everyone to travel. By this time, new gravel is needed, but it doesn’t come free.
“Gravel itself is, right now we’re paying a little over $12 a ton, plus the trucking and everything and a ton of gravel does not go very far,” Bride said.
For this reason, elders of an Amish community west of Bloomfield met with Davis County Engineers to see how they can help with the costs of repairing and adding gravel to the roads they use.
“They have discussed amongst themselves and determined that they would like to pay a per buggy fee to the county to help supplement to buy gravel and they would be setting that fee on their own and then gathering the money from their members and turning it in over to the county where the county engineer will make the decision where the money will be spent,” Bride explained.
The community has considered paying the equivalent of what a vehicle that costs the same as a buggy would pay. This includes vehicle license fees, but this has not been determined yet.
“Since they don’t pay a registration fee for buggies or a gasoline tax, obviously, they just thought this would be a supplement to the county,” Bride added.
Bloomfield residents and workers think this is a nice gesture of the Amish community.
"I’m just real glad that the Amish community is willing to donate this money to the county to be able to help with those roads. We have a lot of gravel roads, long bus routes and things of that nature so that is definitely a needs aspect," said Executive Director of Bloomfield Main Street Tammy Roberts.
The Amish community hopes to give their first contribution by the end of March.