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Supervisors’ Discussion Continues On 17th Street Road Condition

June 8, 2017
by Anesa McGregor , Emmetsburg News

The Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors met with officials from the City of Emmetsburg, the Iowa Department of Transportation, Northwest Iowa Planning & Development and the Palo Alto County Engineer to continue discussions on the problems that plague 17th Street.

"A little over a month ago I received a call from John Bird from the city asking about some different options on 17th Street pertaining to the federal aid classification system here in Palo Alto County," Ted Kourousis, NW Iowa Planning & Development began. "He basically asked me if it could be included in, what was the mileage, did Palo Alto County have any leftSo I put a call into Dakin Schultz in Sioux City from the regional Iowa Department of Transportation office and we basically thought it would be a good idea to come and talk with you and present this information to you."

"I understand some of the issues with 17th Street. When you look at the federal aid system you have to look at it as a whole," Dakin Schultz, IDOT said. "You don't just identify one connection and say we want to do this for whatever reason. You want the system to work together."

There is a target mileage for counties and Palo Alto County is just under the target number of 37 percent at between 34-35 percent. With Emmetsburg being under 5,000 in population, it is up to the county to request classification for 17th Street, with a letter of support from the City of Emmetsburg. Classifying a road can be a long process and funding is still at least four years out.

"The road has been used the same way for years and if it does not qualify for federal funding and we say we are going to shut it down to agriculture, we still have a bad road," John Bird, Emmetsburg City Administrator said. "Next thing to ask is should the taxpayers of Emmetsburg only bare the burden of fixing the road."

"We need to ask where will the road be in four or five years?" Walter Davis-Oeth, Palo Alto County Engineer questioned.

"I don't think we can wait five years," Supervisor Roger Faulstick said.

"And if we put an overlay on it and it doesn't last more than five years, there is more of a problem than traffic," Davis-Oeth said.

"Is the City willing to pay something?" Supervisor Linus Solberg questioned.

"Oh yes," Bird said.

"I don't think there is any harm in looking at getting this road classified as a minor collector and proceed with doing some work on the road now," Davis-Oeth noted.

"Are you ok with just putting three-inches of asphalt down?" Faulstick asked.

"I would like to take another look at it before answering that," Davis-Oeth said. "Blacktop Services was talking about some type of underlay and then three-inches of asphalt but I think it would be closer to four-inches."

"If Dakin feels that there is a chance and Walter is willing to put the time into getting the road classified, I think that will determine what we should do know," Bird said.

"I have mixed feelings about making it a truck route because it is a residential area," Davis-Oeth said. "We need to come up with some plan to fix this road and if we would apply for and get federal funding, there would be federal guidelines that would have to be followed."

With a suggestion from Supervisor Ron Graettinger to get another bid from Blacktop Services, it was agreed to keep working toward the common goal of finding a solution for fixing 17th Street.



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