Mt Pleasant News

Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Jun 20, 2018

County sells land adjacent to cafe

Aug 11, 2017

By Brooks Taylor, Mt. Pleasant News


Kim “Butch” Bittle is the new owner of .74 acres of land that surround his River Rock Cafe at Oakland Mills.

The land, formerly owned by the county, was sold at Thursday morning’s Henry County Board of Supervisors meeting following a public hearing. No oral or written comments were received before or during the hearing.

About a month ago, Bittle approached the supervisors about purchasing the land and submitted a bid of $2,100. However, by the time all was said and done, the purchase price almost doubled.

Todd Barton of Mt. Pleasant also expressed an interest in the land (which is not large enough for a structure). Consequently, the supervisors went to an auction format to sell the land. By the time the gavel sounded, Bittle had the land, but at a price of $4,100.

As part of the sale, the county added several restrictions. The memorial benches, memorial, historical monument and flagpole cannot be removed without permission from the county.

County Engineer Jake Hotchkiss attended the meeting, seeking a resolution to participate in a state grant program.

Hotchkiss, however, before getting to the matter at hand gave the board a quick briefing on the Oakland Mills Bridge and Winfield Avenue reconstruction projects.

Hotchkiss said concrete was poured last night on the bridge approaches. “We’re thinking we may be able to open it (the bridge to traffic) on Friday night, but we are going to stick with Friday or Saturday. There still is some painting that remains to be done but that can be done after the bridge is opened.”

The abutments on both the north and south side of the bridge were replaced. Construction began on July 10.

Paving will be done of Winfield Avenue to the Pilot Travel Center, the engineer added. Finally, shoulder pull work is completed on Marsh Avenue and rock is now being placed along the shoulders, Hotchkiss remarked.

Hotchkiss’ visit was to ask for a grant through the Iowa Safety Improvement Program (ISIP) to provide wider shoulders and rumble strips on county road J20 (Salem road) from U.S. Highway 218 to county road X23.

The program, Hotchkiss said, is designed to provide funding to local jurisdictions for road improvements.

If the grant is received, the shoulders will be widened by two feet and include rumble strips. Plans for J20, which is scheduled in 2020, include adding a four-foot asphalt overlay.

“I definitely think we should go after the funds when we can get them,” Hotchkiss told the supervisors.

In a final agenda item, supervisors approved a fireworks permit for the Stumptown Shooters for a fireworks display at 1472 240th St. on Sept. 9.

The board meets again in regular session Tuesday, Aug. 15, at 9 a.m. in the Henry County Courthouse.

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