County reaches an agreement with snowmobile club
By MEGAN COOPER
Mt. Pleasant News
“We finally have a rough draft of an agreement for the snowmobile trail,” Jake Hotchkiss, Henry County engineer, told the board during Tuesday’s Henry County Board of Supervisors meeting.
“I feel comfortable with the map after visiting with the Ridge Blasters Snowmobile Club and looking at what Cedar County has done in the past,” he continued. “Primarily, we are looking at the gravel roads northeast of the county. I will be bringing a copy of the agreement to you (the board) next week to look over and then you can decide where we go from there.”
According to Hotchkiss, time is of the essence because the club is looking to get their insurance and need to know soon. Also, they want to get the signs up on the trail in order to be ready for winter this year. The board will look over the agreement next week in order to come to a decision soon.
The engineer also brought a recommedation before the board to approve the contract by Calhoun-Burns and Associates, the company that will be performing the bridge inspections starting in March.
“I selected them (Calhoun-Burns and Associates) based on everything I looked at. They were the best fit. They are a company out of West Des Moines and they were formed in 1982. The county I came from, we used them, and I think they will be a good fit on maintaining our bridge system,” Hotchkiss said. “They have a large staff and if I need to call them for a question, they answer right away. This company is my recommendation.”
According to the engineer, Calhoun-Burns and Associates will inspect 38 bridges at $139.21 per bridge in 2014 and inspect 87 bridges at $141.15 a bridge in 2015. This price includes services to inspect, create reports and update information on Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) website and comply with federal highway requirements.
Greg Moeller, board member, moved to approve the contract and Marc Lindeen, vice-chairman of the board, seconded the motion. The Calhoun-Burns and Associates contract was approved. It will be a two-year contract for the years 2014 and 2015 and the company will inspect all bridges that are 20 feet or more.
A third matter Hotchkiss brought before the board was asking for the acknowledgment for the Lowell riverbank stabilization project. “National Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) wants to make sure we are attaining all property rights to do the project correctly,” Hotchkiss said. “Basically, NRCS wants protected from liability. In the agreement, we have to make sure we do routine maintenance for the next ten years.” The engineer is referring to 320th Street, the road in Lowell they are trying to salvage. “It’s our road and we are trying to do what we can to save it,” he continued.
Hotchkiss concluded is update with:
Receiving a signature on a permit for services to be provided by Access Energy for a new hog shed on 200th Street, just off of Highway 218.
Monday – Finished painting centerlines and all construction projects are finished. Switched to edge lines and began work on those. Also began work on Ash Avenue to work on a failed wing-wall on a bridge.
Tuesday – Began winterizing seeding equipment and territory blading on roads.
Wednesday – Began work on another Ash Avenue project. Working on slides that occurred on the west part of county. Doing ditching, hauling material and doing work to replace the slide locations.
Thursday – Continued work on Ash Avenue and blading of territories.
Friday – More work on Ash Avenue and finishing with the blading of territories.
Preston Ready Mix will start preparing the quarry for crushing this week.
Rich McNamee brought the Step Grant before the board for approval. “A Step Grant, in a nutshell, is for a step up in enforcement, looking at seatbelts and child restraints. We applied for a $4,500 grant, but we received $4,200 and we are going to use the money to buy a in-car camera for one of our squad cars,” McNamee told the board. “All the cars but two will now have an in-car camera.”
In sub-committee reports, Gary See, chairman of the board, informed the board “unemployment is stable from last year. Henry County is at 5.6 percent unemployment, Iowa is at 4.9 percent and the United States is 7.3 percent which is down from 8.1 percent last year.”
The Henry County Board of Supervisors will meet again Thursday at 9 a.m.