Supervisors have light agenda, hear update from county engineer
By MEGAN COOPER
Mt. Pleasant News
An update from Henry County Engineer Jake Hotchkiss was all that came before the board Tuesday morning.
The Henry County Board of Supervisors did not have any sub-committees to report on during the meeting.
“I have a permit for mowing and baling within the county right-of-way,” began Hotchkiss. “Last summer when I first got here, it was one of the first things on my list. The gentleman has come back and we did more conditions on it. It went pretty well the first time and we are just laying it out and approving it again. He can’t mow until after July 15 because of the Iowa law stating they can’t mow prior to that due to a safety issue.”
The no-mow order allows time for hatching and development of ground-nesting birds and pollinators.
The law reads mowing roadside vegetation on the rights-of-way or medians on any primary highway, interstate highway or secondary road prior to July 15 is prohibited, except as follows:
• Within 200 yards of an inhabited dwelling.
• On rights-of-way within one mile of the corporate limits of a city.
• To promote native species of vegetation or other long-lived and adaptable vegetation.
• To establish control of damaging insect populations, noxious weeds, and invasive plant species.
• For visibility and safety reasons.
• Within rest areas, weigh stations and wayside parks.
• Within 50 feet of a drainage tile or tile intake.
• For access to a mailbox or for other accessibility purposes.
• On rights-of-way adjacent to agricultural demonstration or research plots.
After discussion of the mowing law and the permit that came before the board, Hotchkiss discussed his weekly update with the board.
“Monday we pulled some concrete pipes back together. These are road pipes that are fitted, with no connections when were they were put in place,” explained Hotchkiss. “Now we have to go in and put them back together and bolt them together. It’s a common issue we continually fight, and once we fix one section, we have to go back in and do another.”
According to the engineer, his crews worked on painting white lines, worked on grading shoulders, mowing, hauling pit rock, hauling rock in the New London Township and the Tippecanoe Township, two crossroad pipes and put in erosion stone on the retention pond behind the road department building.
“The contractor for the Oasis Avenue bridge project said that the false work (the temporary structure built in order to pour the bridge slab) is in place,” said Hotchkiss. “They are not too far away from pouring the actual slab now and when they do that, it will be about 90 percent completed.”
During the meeting, the engineer also had board Chairman Marc Lindeen sign the contract for the maintenance building that was discussed at a meeting earlier this spring.
“I have the contract for the maintenance building we agreed upon,” said Hotchkiss. “You’ve (the board) already been authorized to sign it once everything was in order. The total cost will be $157,917 with the alternates that we added. There is a completion date of Sept. 5 for the project and the contractor wants to get started soon. Our hope is to have everything done before winter operations start so we can use it.”
Lindeen signed the contract approving the start of the maintenance-building project.
The Henry County Board of Supervisors will meet again in regular session on Thursday, June 19, at 9 a.m. in the board room at the courthouse.