Ris­ing Sun may be shop­ping for as­phalt

Cecil Whig - - & - By JANE BELLMYER

RIS­ING SUN

jbellmyer@ce­cil­whig.com

— At least one Ce­cil County town is frus­trated by the sys­tem in which as­phalt is pur­chased.

Calvin Bo­nen­berger, town ad­min­is­tra­tor, told the mayor and com­mis­sion­ers that Ris­ing Sun’s usual source for as­phalt has been pur­chased by Allan Myers Con­struc­tion.

“Allan Myers is buy­ing up a lot of black­top plants,” Bo­nen­berger said. “And they are giv­ing in­di­ca­tions that this will be their black­top first.”

Bill An­dresen, vice pres­i­dent of cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tions for Allan Myers, said of course the com­pany is go­ing to take care of its own needs first.

“We sell in­ter­nally and ex­ter­nally to large con­struc­tion com­pa­nies and out­side cus­tomers,” An­dresen said.

On a daily ba­sis, he said, the plant on Quarry Road in Elkton will make what the com­pany’s crews need and will then take or­ders in ad­vance for oth­ers, such as Ris­ing Sun.

“But there might not be enough on hand for those short-term or­ders,” he said, adding that the goal is to “sell ev­ery last bit of as­phalt.”

Like the other seven in­cor­po­rated towns and Ce­cil County, Ris­ing Sun buys as­phalt for its paving and patch­ing projects. With the ar­rival of colder weather, pro­duc­tion is scaled back, Bo­nen­berger noted.

“We have to call day to day to see if they have any avail­able and we’ve been told, ‘No,’” he said Wed­nes­day, adding other towns tell sim­i­lar sto­ries.

“One town had to fill a hole with crusher run and then call ev­ery day,” he said.

The re­sult is that there is an in­crease in cost for the ap­pli­ca­tion and then re­moval of the stone once any as­phalt be­comes avail­able.

How­ever Dan Web­ber, in charge of the county roads divi­sion, said that’s how it’s al­ways been.

“Even when it was Edge­moor (Ma­te­ri­als), you had to call,” he said.

Brian Dolan, pres­i­dent of the Mary­land As­phalt As­so­ci­a­tion, sug­gested that towns con­sider other plants in neigh­bor­ing Har­ford County and Delaware.

“Plenty of com­pe­ti­tion still ex­ists,” Dolan said, adding he doesn’t un­der­stand why a com­pany would not make a sale. “Maybe the town is not get­ting their pro­pos­als to these com­pa­nies.”

Dolan said Allan Myers bought Edge­moor Ma­te­ri­als two years ago, and is pur­chas­ing other plants as part of its con­sol­i­da­tion plan.

An­dresen said he had no knowl­edge of any new ac­qui­si­tions.

Even though other com­pa­nies are not in the county, Dolan said the prod­uct would stay mal­leable while be­ing trans­ported to a Ce­cil County job site.

“If the truck is 4-feet deep it holds the heat pretty well,” Dolan said. “It’ll stay hot a long, long time.”

How­ever, Bo­nen­berger said Ris­ing Sun’s truck is not that large and the molten mass may not be us­able af­ter a drive from Ab­erdeen or Dover, Del.

“For us to have to bypass the re­gional black­top plant doesn’t make sense,” he said, adding that with a small pub­lic works staff jobs such as pot­hole patch­ing are done as needed. “We can’t sched­ule a week ahead of time.”

Bo­nen­berger told the board that the an­swer may be for some of the towns to form a buy­ers co­op­er­a­tive for a larger group pur­chase.

An­dresen hinted that some Allan Myers plants may have a min­i­mum or­der re­quired for pur­chase.

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