Supervisors sign disaster declaration following damage from heavy rainfall

by Bob Beach

The Allamakee County Board of Supervisors signed a disaster declaration Tuesday, June 24 in response to heavy rains in the county Thursday, June 19. Allamakee County Engineer Brian Ridenour reported that over seven inches of rain fell in a short period of time causing flash flooding in several areas that resulted in several temporary road closures where flood waters covered roadways.
Allamakee County Emergency Management Director Chris Dahlstrom estimated the cost to repair damages to public infrastructure at around $200,000. He added that over 30 pallets of sandbags had been distributed in Waukon, which was mostly precautionary. Dahlstrom said that he had not yet received a damage estimate from the City of Waukon.
During regular business, Ridenour recommended that the Board accept the only bid received after a second letting for the paving of Prairie Drive west of Waukon. The Board had previously rejected a bid for the project from Croell Concrete because the bid was 20 percent higher than the engineer's estimated project cost. After the second request for bids for the project, Croell Concrete was again the only bidder at $950,996.62, $76,800 less than the previous bid.
Ridenour said that while there are some uncertainties about future federal reimbursements, he had to assume that Congress would act to keep that fund solvent. "The price is not going to get any better," Ridenour said, adding that the paving of West Ridge Road and Prairie Drive would be the main construction project for the summer in the county.
Supervisor Sherry Strub said that she would like to take some time to look at the five-year construction plan and recent flood damage estimates before making a decision. Supervisor Dennis Koenig said that while he appreciates the lower bid from Croell, he believes it should be lower. The Board agreed to table action on the bid until its regular meeting Tuesday, July 1.
The Board also met by telephone with Bob Jostens of Dorsey and Whitney, who is acting as the bond attorney for the County in securing funding on behalf of eight townships for a new fire station for the Waukon Area Fire Protection District. The Board passed a resolution to hold a public hearing regarding loan agreements with the eight member townships July 8 at 10 a.m. (official notice of that hearing is printed on page 4B of this week's issue of The Standard). Jostens said that the next step in the process would be to prepare a resolution regarding the issuance of the funds once payment schedules had been received, noting that some townships may wish to pay back their portions of the loan in less time than others.
The Board also held a public hearing regarding a request for a change in zoning district classification by Randy and Patty Troendle for property just west of Lansing from commercial to residential. Allamakee County Zoning Administrator Tom Blake said that the Planning and Zoning Commission had recommended approval of the change and no written comments had been received. Hearing no comments from the public, the Board closed the public hearing and agreed to consider an amendment to the zoning ordinance to change the zoning district classification during its next meeting.
In other business, the Board approved hiring Chloe Stortz as a dispatcher and jailer for the Sheriff's Department at a wage set by union contract and hiring Henry Sass as temporary summer help for the Secondary Roads Department for $9.15 per hour.

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