CLINTON — After hearing no objections during a public hearing on the issue, the Clinton County Board of Supervisors voted to issue up to $6.4 million in general obligation bonds for improvements to the county’s secondary road system during Monday’s regular meeting.

Brian Schmidt, of Delmar, addressed the board as a representative of the Clinton County Farm Bureau, stating that the group would like to offer its “cooperation in maintaining the integrity of our county’s secondary roads.”

Schmidt stressed the importance of being able to move agricultural products and machinery in an efficient manner and urged board members to consider the importance of weight limits as it looks to construct and repair the county’s roads and bridges.

“We look on this as a positive step forward in addressing problems we face,” Schmidt said.

The supervisors have discussed the bonding issue throughout the past year, noting that rising costs and declining road-use tax revenues have forced the county to look at other ways of funding road maintenance.

In October, the board approved a two-year construction plan devised by County Engineer Todd Kinney that calls for paving nearly 10 miles of gravel surface roads and resurfacing just over seven miles of paved roads.

Construction is set to be completed in 2010 and 2011.

“We understand the implications of bonding and raising property taxes,” said Chairman Dennis Starling. “But in this case, either we do it now, or it’s going to cost us twice as much to fix (the roads) in the future.”

Currently, Clinton County has no outstanding debt, and a bonding capability of nearly $142 million.

The supervisors also established an urban renewal plan during Monday’s meeting, which must be in place before bonds can be issued. The plan outlines which areas of the county will be improved, and shows the economic growth which will result from those improvements.

Nine cities own land within the urban renewal area, including Clinton, Camanche, DeWitt, Low Moor, Charlotte, Goose Lake, Grand Mound, Calamus and Wheatland. The city councils of all nine municipalities have approved the urban renewal plan.