Talk continues on proposed county snowmobile trail
By MEGAN COOPER
Mt. Pleasant News
The snowmobile trail system is still under consideration as of Tuesday’s Henry County Board of Supervisors meeting.
“I haven’t had a chance to do much since we last met. I need to look at the routes they proposed and see what direction we want to go. I need to know what you are comfortable with,” said Jake Hotchkiss, Henry County engineer.
Gary See, chairman of the board, told Hotchkiss, “We are comfortable with the direction you are comfortable with.” This statement will allow Hotchkiss to make some decisions and hopefully start conversations with key people, like the county attorney and the county insurance agent.
“I want to see them manage a smaller trail system up front and prove they can manage it. They are all volunteers, they are going to be putting up the signs and taking them down,” Hotchkiss said to the board.
“I agree, I would say less, than maybe more,” See said in agreement with Hotchkiss.
Hotchkiss wasn’t only worried about who would take care of the trail, but also the maintenance aspect of it. “They could use the groomer for snow as long as they aren’t mowing, especially on that big of a system. If there is snow on the ground, we can let them do that. There could be native grasses out there and of course people’s yards, which is why I’m against the mowing. I still say I need to look at the routes,” Hotchkiss explained to the board.
“We also want to keep them in the ditches as much as we can. We just still need to talk with our attorney and make sure we are protected from liability and how far we are protected. Our attorney informed me that there was too much ‘do what you want to’ in the initial agreement, which needs to be changed. We want the route, but not necessarily the maintenance aspect of it. I will come back to you (the board) after I look at the routes and give you my recommendation. I want to make sure you are involved,” Hotchkiss added.
Marc Lindeen, vice-chairman of the board, said regarding the agreement, “I talked with the sheriff and he liked the idea of the time constraint as well. That way it can be controlled more.”
“I think a time constraint is something to look at as well. I just think they were right though when they said if there were no routes they would be out there uncontrolled. It’s just hard right now to devote time to this with all the other projects occurring at the moment, but we also understand they are under a time crunch as well so they can get their insurance. We are doing what we can with the time we have,” Hotchkiss finished.
Hotchkiss gave his weekly update and informed the board that the Pleasant Hill Cemetery project was coming along well. “We started it yesterday (Monday) and we are moving pretty fast. We will be done this week for sure. We were intending to put some tile in but after we got the slopes in, we have enough of a ditch and decided we won’t need the tile. We were able to save a little money,” he said. “I do want to put a stop sign in that spot and will be bringing a resolution to you next week.”
Hotchkiss also informed the board that the work on 235th Street was going slower than planned. “The weather has caused some issues and a problem yesterday forced them to shut down on work. They are up today (Tuesday) and hopefully they will finish the intermediate surface today, if not, then tomorrow for sure. We can then move on to the final surface,” he said.
The engineer also talked about the work on Iowa Avenue. “The bridge approaches have been torn out already and we hope to pour them tomorrow. If everything goes right, we may be looking at less than two weeks on this project,” he said.
The board will meet again on Thursday at 9 a.m.