E-18 to reopen soon, nine months later than anticipated

~by Janice Harbaugh for GreeneCountyNewsOnline

A road project originally planned to be finished before last fall’s harvest may finally be completed by the end of this week.

County engineer Wade Weiss reported to the county supervisors at their regular meeting Monday that work on County E-18 (130th St, or “the Paton road”) west of Paton should be completed by the end of the week.

Still, shoulder work is slated to be finished after the road is opened.

The contract was awarded a year ago for the $1.2 million resurfacing project. Fort Dodge Asphalt was the only bidder on the project, which included 2-1/8 miles east of County Road P-29.

Constructing a new bridge was also part of the project. However, construction crews weren’t allowed in the water until after Aug. 1 to protect the Topeka shiners living in the creek.

Weiss anticipated a year ago the resurfacing and bridge construction would be finished before the harvest. Weather delayed the project so much that the bridge wasn’t started before the 2018 construction season ended.

The road has been closed to through traffic for a year.

Weiss also reported he’s working with Central Iowa Power Cooperative (CIPCO) to recoup at least a portion of the money spent to repair damage to gravel roads incurred as CIPCO installed new utility poles between County Road P-14 (J Ave) and Grand Junction.

In other business, the board unanimously approved the hiring of Dennis Healy as a fulltime secondary roads employee at $21.58 an hour and also Roger Hoyt as part-time secondary roads employee at $15 per hour.

Other hires include Connie Veider as part-time driver examiner in the county treasurer’s office at $19 per hour, and Katherine Jackson as fulltime jailer. Jackson’s annual base pay of $33,000 will increase by $1,000 after she completes certification. Jackson was present and was introduced to the board by sheriff Jack Williams.

John Torbert, executive director of the Iowa Drainage District Association, gave an annual update on drainage issues to the board. Torbert reported a quiet year in the Iowa legislature in terms of drainage issues, though there is currently a water quality lawsuit against the State of Iowa filed by Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement.

The board adjourned for a drainage meeting where they discussed tentative approval of Bolton & Menk’s engineering report about the establishment of a proposed drainage district DD-191, a mile south and a mile east of Scranton.

Williams reported Iowa Chill has contacted him suggesting a discussion of police presence for its next event at River Farm Recreation on Aug. 3. According to River Farm Recreation, the “new and improved” event will include paid law enforcement and a security detail.

In regular business, the board accepted financial reports from the county recorder, auditor, treasurer, and driver’s license departments.

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