Supervisors to allow for feedback on road embargoes
Those concerned with the potential embargo for the county’s gravel roads will have the chance to discuss the embargo at three upcoming board of supervisors meetings.
The supervisors have scheduled time for a public meeting to discuss the embargo during two of their upcoming meetings — at 9:00 a.m. during their regular meeting on Feb. 15, and at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 17, during their meeting at the community center in Wayland. They have also scheduled a meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 24, to take place in the supervisors’ office in the Henry County Courthouse.
While originally planned as an ordinance, during the board of supervisors meeting on Tuesday, County Engineer Bill Belzer proposed that the embargo be passed as a resolution, as that is what other counties are doing. The difference, according to
Chairman Marc Lindeen, is that an ordinance would be permanent, whereas a resolution would have to be voted on every year.
Belzer commented that he would like to have the roads embargoed annually.
“I’d like to look at this as a possibility of saving rock,” he said. “If you wait until you have to do it, it’s too late.”
The proposed embargo would limit traffic on gravel roads to a 15-ton gross vehicle weight. Vehicles over this weight limit would be allowed with a special permit, with which the county can limit the number of loads carried and which roads are used. By having designated routes, repairs and additional gravel can be focused where it is needed.
“We would rather gravel 30 miles of road than 500 miles,” said Belzer.
The embargo would not affect farmers using their own equipment to do work for themselves. They can still move their equipment on the roads without a permit.
Also during Tuesday’s meeting, the supervisors completed a project review with JC Wiley & Sons, Inc. on the courthouse remodel, which is in the finishing stages.
“It’s amazing what they’ve done in a month,” said Supervisor Chairman Marc Lindeen, noting that the project was done with little interruption to courthouse customers as the work was done after business hours.
One of the major projects was a cutting of a door into the clerk of court vault, which contains old books and records, on the second floor. Previously, the only entrance to the vault was through a meeting room. Now, the vault can be accessed through the new door without disrupting a meeting in progress.
Most of the work was completed on the third floor. The clerk of court’s office moved to the other side of the atrium, with a new window cut into a previously solid wall.
In the old clerk’s office, the window has now become a solid wall and the office has been transformed to a temporary holding room and a new jury room. The old jury room is now three meeting rooms.
There has also been some water damage repair completed throughout the third floor.