Mt Pleasant News
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Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 21, 2017

Oakland Mills Bridge to close Monday

Jul 07, 2017

By Brooks Taylor, Mt. Pleasant News

 

A trip from Mt. Pleasant to the Oakland Mills Nature Center will become a trek beginning Monday, July 10.

That’s because the bridge on county road W55 (Franklin Avenue), spanning the Skunk River will be closing for repair. Henry County Engineer Jake Hotchkiss said the abutments on both the north and south sides of the bridge need repair along with other items.

“The contractor is all set up,” Hotchkiss told county supervisors during their meeting Thursday. “The contractor will be working on both ends simultaneously. It will be an inconvenience, but we will get through it.”

During the department head meeting, John Pullis, county conservation department director, said that cabin reservations have been made for 141 days through the department’s online reservation system.

“Those reservations account for just shy of 1,100 people and $17,314 in revenue,” he commented.

Cabins at the Oakland Mills recreation area are averaging occupancy of 50-55 percent, Pullis said.

The county’s environmental education programs registration is also included on the online reservation site, Pullis noted, and there have been 85 reservations made involving 124 people. There are also 13 people on a waiting list for the programs.

“A lot of people are coming (to the environmental education programs) from out of county,” the conservation director said. “We may want to change that around so county people have priority.”

The department also recently received an audit from the Iowa Community Assurance Pool (ICAP, the county insurance carrier), according to Pullis. He said ICAP wants background checks done on all department volunteers and also to document all maintenance repairs.

Ana Lair, county treasurer, informed the supervisors that a citation for motorists using an electronic device (cellphone, tablet, etc.) while driving would not be subject to a moving violation. However the charge will appear on the driver’s record.

“It is pretty scary when you see someone texting while going down the road,” Lair added. She also reported that the county’s tax sale, which was hosted online for the first time this year, went well.

Following the department head meeting, Hotchkiss gave his weekly report to the board. He said that the contractor has poured the first section of pavement on the Winfield Avenue project. The section included the area from Iris Street to East End Automotive. “Paving went well,” Hotchkiss said. “This week, the contractor will be removing pavement on the next section and installing intakes.”

Businesses along the stretch of road remain open, he said. Access to the Pilot Service Center, Detrick’s Truck and Trailer Service, Liquid-grow and mini-storage are off Grand Avenue. Sandeen Seeds and East End Automotive may be reached from Iris Street.

Last week’s work by the secondary roads department included hauling resurfacing rock; continuing the mowing of shoulders and spraying weeds; painting centerlines on paved roads; and clearing downed trees following the June 28 windstorm.

Supervisors meet again in regular session Tuesday, July 11, at 9 a.m. in the Henry County Courthouse.

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