Although the Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors delayed formal action on the annual construction program regarding county roads until their April 1 meeting, the board discussed the possibility of adding a project to the plan. Supervisors Ed Noonan and Linus Solberg reported they recently drove the county roads.
Solberg said, "The worst road in the county is Rodman west to Highway 4, the second worst is the Graettinger road and the third one the Rodman Road East.
In response to Solberg's assessment, County Engineer Joel Fantz said, "To define worst, you have to answer the questions - Is it a bad ride, is it unsafe or is it costly to maintain?"
Fantz went on talk about the maintenance fund savings once a road has been repaired.
During the discussion, Noonan said, "The issue is we need the Ruthven to Graettinger road in the five year plan."
The roads Noonan was referring to are N26 and B14. Fantz told the supervisors there is no realistic way to fund the project other than to pull from somewhere else. He did say however it would be possible to explore, with a bonding attorney, the option of bonding for a project.
As part of his report, Fantz informed the supervisors the county is borrowing traffic count equipment from the Iowa Department Of Transportation.
Solberg said, "It will be good to get a traffic count on the Graettinger road." Fantz told the board the count on that road in 2011 was 240 per day.
After a good deal of discussion, the supervisors asked Fantz to add an unfunded project to the five-year plan. The project will include a four mile stretch from Ruthven beginning where the last project stopped, going one and a half miles east and then north to the Langdon Road.
In other construction project matters, the supervisors set April 15 as the pubic meeting date for the Rodman project (B55).
The wages for the secondary road department's temporary summer employees were discussed. At the recommendation of county engineer, the supervisors approved the hourly wages of $9.50, $10.00 and $10.50 per hour for years one, two and three of employment respectively. Last year the department hired 12 seasonal employees.
Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management Program manager Kent Malm reported to the supervisors that he had checked on the availability of the Massey Ferguson tractor rather the John Deere 5101. Although there was a five horsepower difference between the models, he would like to see the money stay in the county.
That being said, the supervisors rescinded their motion from last week to purchase the John Deere 5101 for $48,610 from Ernie Williams.
Supervisors then approved purchasing the Massey Ferguson model from Peterson Farm Equipment, Inc. of Ruthven for $44,450.
Next week's Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors meeting has been changed from the regular meeting day to Monday, March 24, at 8 a.m.