County seeks quotes to clear logjam
By STEPH TAHTINEN
Mt. Pleasant News
Henry County is currently getting quotes to clear the logjam on the Skunk River, according to County Engineer Bill Belzer.
During his weekly update to the board of supervisors on Tuesday morning, Belzer told the board that he is looking into a couple of options to clear the large logjam that has formed by the highway bridge in Oakland Mills.
Belzer noted that the county can sometimes clear logjams themselves, such as last year when county crews cleared out a jam by Lockridge. However, due to drought and low water levels last year, the jam was a lot easier to get to than the one at Oakland Mills this year.
“You have six feet of water at Oakland Mills,” said Belzer.
He said that the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will not pay for cleaning up the logjam because aerial photography from two years ago shows some logs that were already starting to build up there. Some of the logs were removed when the highway bridge was painted last year, but not all of them were, said Belzer.
The log jam has been diverting the current and forcing all of the water to the north bank on the Skunk River.
Flooding on the Skunk River has kept his department busy, noted Belzer. Crews spent most of last week repairing damage to 253rd Street and hauling sand away and disposing of it in the quarry.
“We probably hauled, I’m guessing, 700 cubic yards away,” said Belzer.
Crews have also been working on Agency Road, Henry Jefferson Avenue and 260th Street due to flooding.
In other business, County Auditor Shelly Barber informed the supervisors that the fiscal year 2012-2013 budget will need to be amended for an increase of $456,956 for revenues and an increase of $203,100 for expenditures.
She said that the increases in revenue are mostly due to grants received, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) reimbursement for flood damage and donations.
There will be a public hearing held on the budget amendment at the end of May.
The supervisors also approved a rental agreement with Mertens Rental Properties for the Juvenile Probation Office on North Jefferson Street. In March, the board had approved a rent increase from $600 to $625 per month.