Supervisors approve watershed survey, open bids for road rock resurfacing

by Joe Moses

The Allamakee County Board of Supervisors met in regular session Monday, April 8 to address a full agenda of items including a survey for the Upper Iowa Watershed Management Authority, consideration of bids for road rock resurfacing and the IDOT Five-Year Secondary Road Construction Program and Fiscal-Year 2020 Budget.

During Public Comment, Executive Director Val Reinke with Allamakee County Economic Development (ACED) discussed the organization’s efforts in collecting information, receiving submissions and promoting events within the county utilizing the ACED website and calendar of events. Reinke presented a handout listing events taking place in April, providing an overview of several recent and upcoming events.

The Supervisors moved into the discussion and consideration of the survey for the Upper Iowa Watershed Management Authority. Supervisor Dan Byrnes discussed the history of the Upper Iowa Watershed Management Authority involving Howard, Winneshiek and Allamakee Counties. Byrnes indicated that currently projects are scheduled for Winneshiek County, recommending that Allamakee County continue as a partner in the organization, but he did not recommend that Allamakee County choose to house a Watershed District employee. Byrnes further discussed that additional studies and grant opportunities may allow more to be done in Allamakee County. The Supervisors approved the submission of the Upper Iowa Watershed Strategy Implementation Survey containing the combined answers of Byrnes and Allamakee County Engineer Brian Ridenour.

In anticipation of the next agenda item, the Board of Supervisors adjourned and reconvened as the Board of Canvassers for the Canvass of the Postville Community School District Special Election held April 2. Allamakee County Auditor Denise Beyer provided an overview of the election results with the Supervisors declaring that the Public Measure be adopted, involving the physical plant and equipment levy at $1.34/$1,000 of assessed valuation of taxable property within the school district. The Board of Canvassers then adjourned and reconvened as the Board of Supervisors.

Quarterly reports for the Allamakee County Planning and Zoning Commission and the Allamakee County Sheriff’s Department were accepted and placed on file. Manure Management Plan updates for Chestnut Farms and Herman Family LP were accepted and placed on file.

Ridenour provided an overview of the next agenda item relating to the consideration of bids for road rock resurfacing, consisting of six divisions. Byrnes individually opened and read aloud the bids received from Bruening Rock Products of Decorah for Division 1-6, Paul Niemann Construction of Sumner for Division 2-3 and Rainbow Quarry of Monona for Division 4. Ridenour indicated that he would review the received bids and provide a recommendation at the April 15 Supervisors meeting.

Dan Bechtel with Rainbow Quarry briefly discussed the eventual opening of a second quarry for his business. Bechtel questioned the Supervisors and Ridenour about whether or not the County could supply an end loader for loading road rock. Ridenour indicated that this has been done in the past on an as-needed basis or a Secondary Roads employee could operate a contractor’s end loader, if necessary. Lance Mielke of Mielke’s Quarry of McGregor discussed his decision to not bid but thanked Ridenour for using the six divisions on the project, indicating that this promotes competition and saves the County money. Mielke and Ridenour discussed quarry scale accuracy with Ridenour agreeing to provide information to Mielke relating to the USDA’s scale accuracy plan.

The Supervisors moved into the consideration of the Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) Five-Year Secondary Road Construction Program and the Fiscal-Year 2020 Secondary Road Budget. Ridenour provided an overview of the 2020 Secondary Road Budget explaining estimated revenues and expenditures. Supervisor Dennis Koenig and Ridenour discussed increased road clearing expenses resulting from the closure of the Luster Heights Correctional Facility, with those labor hours being lost. Ridenour discussed the Five-Year Secondary Roads Construction Program, providing additional information on specific projects. The Supervisors approved the IDOT Five-Year Secondary Road Construction Program and Fiscal-Year 2020 Secondary Road Budget.

Under Department Head Updates, Allamakee County Solid Waste Manager Dave Mooney discussed concerns with current capacity and keeping up at the main site. Mooney indicated that a second compactor box may be beneficial in the future. Mooney and the Supervisors discussed funding options.
Beyer discussed preparations being made for office repainting and that second grade students are visiting the County Courthouse today (Monday) with eighth grade students likely to visit in May.

Ridenour indicated that the A26 bridge replacement project near New Albin has gone well with the old structure removed and rain allowing dust control measures on the detour route to be delayed. Ridenour discussed some work being done near the Green Valley Bridge and that employment applications are still being accepted for part-time summer positions including a laborer, roadside mower and scale person.
 

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