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Supervisors: Akes submits 5-year construction plan

High and Dry and Cromwell roads will be the next big road projects completed; County to rehabilitate them to original smoothness

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013 10:07 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013 10:27 a.m. CDT
(CNA photo by KYLE WILSON)
Cromwell Road, pictured above, and High and Dry Road are top priorities in the proposed five-year construction plan submitted Monday by Union County Engineer Steve Akes.

If all goes well, the “bumpiness” of High and Dry and Cromwell roads will be fixed in fiscal year 2013-2014.

Steve Akes, county engineer, submitted his proposed five-year construction plan during the board of supervisors meeting Monday. The top priorities for 2013-14 include High and Dry and Cromwell roads.

“I get the most complaints about those two roads,” said Union County Supervisor Chairman Ron Riley. “It’s a very rough road to travel down. I’m glad it is in the plan this coming year. It’s been a long time coming.”

Akes said those roads are bumpy because of years of heavy truck loads, which continue to cause the panels of concrete to settle in several areas.

The county plans to rehabilitate both roads by diamond grinding the concrete to proper smoothness, then inserting several clusters of stabilization bars in the tire tracks of both roads. The rehabilitation procedure will likely add “several years” to the life of each road.

“When the projects are finished, they will look and drive like they have new concrete,” said Larry Latham, assistant county engineer. “This type of project has worked on other highways in Iowa and Kansas. It will prolong the life of the road. It will hold it together, and it will definitely make it smoother.”

The estimated costs to complete High and Dry Road rehabilitation project is $900,000, while Cromwell Road is estimated at $600,000.

Additional projects in fiscal year 2013-14 include a bridge project in cooperation with Ringgold County, a bridge on 197th Street and box culverts on 230th Street and H17.

All the construction projects proposed in 2013-14 would be paid for through federal funds, farm-to-market funds and bridge replacement funds, except for $100,000, which Akes said would need to come from local funds.

The board of supervisors will further discuss the five-year construction plan during this year’s budget process.

Future plans

The two major road projects in the future include 170th/Dogwood Avenue in fiscal year 2014-15, and Creamery Road in 2016-17.

Bridge replacement projects in the future include bridges on Nighthawk Avenue, Pheasant Avenue and 168th Street in 2014-15. Then, bridges on 265th Street and Eagle Avenue in 2015-16.


DHS update: The board of supervisors again discussed where to move Department of Human Services (DHS).

The board officially ruled out renting or purchasing the former Iowa State Extension building owned by Bob Berning.

Riley reported he did speak with John Kawa of Kawa Construction, and adding 4,000 square feet to the yellow, brick building — all on one level instead of two levels — near the courthouse would cost $375,000 to $500,000. The board decided to scheduled at least one more work session to continue discussing all options.

Courthouse raises: Katie Turner and Tom Hartsock of the compensation board made a presentation to the board Monday.

As expected, they recommended a 4.5 percent wage increase for County Attorney Tim Kenyon and Union County Sheriff Rick Piel, and 3.5 percent wage increase for Auditor Sandy Hysell, Recorder Paula White, Treasurer Kelly Busch and Union County supervisors.

During the presentation, Turner revealed where each office ranks in the state in terms of compensation. The board of supervisors makes $23,704 annually, which ranks 90th among the 99 counties in Iowa.

Turner noted the county did change from five to three supervisors and according to the compensation board’s findings counties with three supervisors make $25,000 to $33,000 annually.

The county attorney makes $77,325 annually and ranks 68th among other county attorneys in Iowa. Meanwhile, the county auditor, treasurer and recorder make $45,159 annually. The auditor and recorder rank 82nd and treasurer ranks 78th overall. Lastly, the county sheriff makes $58,354 annually and ranks 82nd overall.

Turner added compensation boards in surrounding counties are recommending pay increases. Adair County is recommending a 3 percent increase, Ringgold County 3.5 percent, Adams County 2 to 2.5 percent and Cass County 3 percent. Turner said Union County officials received no increase two of the past five years.

Turner said the compensation board, per Iowa Code, does not look at insurance costs or county fiscal responsibility. The board will make a decision on wage increases later in this year’s budget process.

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