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Supervisors Discuss 17th Street

July 20, 2017
by Anesa McGregor , Emmetsburg News

Palo Alto County Engineer Walter Davis-Oeth presented the Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors with information regarding the cost of fixing 17th Street, with a breakdown of cost to the County and to the City of Emmetsburg, during the Supervisors regular meeting on Tuesday, July 11.

Davis-Oeth began the discussion talking about a letter he had sent.

"The letter was taken from a direct proposal quote received from Blacktop Services from Humboldt," Davis-Oeth said. "It is broken down into a 50 percent cost share for the west half mile which is the edge of the city limits. That is our standard agreement in these situations."

The proposal quote has the total project estimated at $271,600. This breaks down to a cost of $196,205 for the City and $75,395 for the County.

"The kind of sentiment was that they (the City) believe that the damage was caused by heavy trucks and because of that the County should pay more, but I'm not exactly clear what," Davis-Oeth stated. "My assumption was that they (the City) were hoping for 50 percent participation for the entire seven tenths of a mile."

Iowa Code 331.429 specifically states what secondary roads funds can be spent for and if inside the city limits they (secondary roads funds) cannot.

"This pretty drastically limits your options of what you could do if you wanted to," Davis-Oeth said. "I've gotten together with Peter to discuss other options and don't believe we came up with a viable solution. I'm sure you guys are aware but some other funding you would have would be your General Services Account, your Rural Services Account and your Local Option Sales Tax Funds. However, I don't know about these funds and how you would be able to use them."

"In the last month Ruthven has come in asking for money for roads and the latest was Rodman," Supervisor Chairman Keith Wirtz said. "So is the law the same for all?"

"Actually it's not. The Rodman street is actually a farm-to-market extension and is actually our jurisdiction," Davis-Oeth replied.

"But that is in the Code?" Wirtz asked.

"That is actually in the Code, yes," Davis-Oeth answered.

"Ayrshire has a road the same way," Supervisor Ron Graettinger stated.

"The road in Ruthven is a City/County shared road along the city limits," Davis-Oeth said. "There is a corporate agreement (28E) in place with the City of Emmetsburg, where the City has maintained that stretch of 17th Street and we maintain different stretches. It is split up so that routine maintenance is dived up to equitably split those maintenances in a practical fashion, approximately 50 percent of the routine maintenance cost."

Davis-Oeth was referring to a 28E Agreement between the City and the County that was agreed upon by both parties in 1994.

"Frank, what is the City going to do if the County is not able to do more?" Supervisor Roger Faulstick asked.

"From conversations that I've had, do less work to the road and then embargo it,"



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