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Supervisors Close Year With Routine Business

By Staff | Dec 31, 2009

Palo Alto County Supervisors closed out 2009 with routine items of business in their weekly meeting on Dec. 29.

With County Engineer Joel Fantz on medical leave, Assistant to the Engineer John Wright updated the supervisors on activities of the Secondary Road Department.

“It sounds a little funny to say this, but our guys live for this,”?Wright told the supervisors about the ongoing snow clearing efforts after the Christmas storm.

“I really think the guys would rather be out plowing snow than trying to find something to do in the sheds.”

When asked if there had been a lot of calls regarding snow removal on Monday, Wright replied he had spent a majority of the morning hours taking calls from residents.

“A lot of people just don’t understand that there’s a lot of miles of roads in the county,” observed Supervisor Ron Graettinger. “There’s 800 miles of gravel and 200 miles of pavement and it just takes time to get them plowed.”

Wright agreed, as did the other members of the board.

“Our guys are really doing a good job with the conditions they faced over the weekend,”?Wright noted. “We have a couple of trucks and a maintainer that are down, but Pat is doing a good job keeping things going in the shop”

Board Chair Ed Noonan asked Wright how work on the Ayrshire road project was progressing.

“We’re getting it wrapped up,” was the reply.

“Will it be ready to bid in January?” asked Supervisor Jerry Hofstad.

“Probably more like February,” Wright answered, “With a DOT letting, it takes six months of lead time, but a local letting allows us to have more control.”?

“What about completion?” Noonan asked.

“We’ll write a starting date for work in the contract, and then a number of working days. After that, there could be liquidated damages per day,”?Wright said. “I’m confident the project will be completed before the harvest.”

In other business, the supervisors received a request for funding in the amount of $4,000 from Centers Against Abuse and Sexual Assault (CAASA) for the coming fiscal year. CAASA?Director Rhonda Dean explained to the board that they had not received funding last year, as they did not come before the board prior to budgeting time.

“Our request for funding is actually the same amount as it was for FY2008-2009,” Dean said.

The board took the request under advisement for the budgeting process next month. .

A conference call with Kossuth County Supervisors resulted in an agreement to investigate the costs for a small maintenance project in Joint District PAK 1 in Kossuth County. The work would take place over a mile of the joint ditch, located in Sections 23 and 26 of Garfield Township.

The board also introduced and approved a grant application resolution for Palo Alto County 4-H to submit to the Palo Alto County Gaming Development Commission for funding for an educational program.

In a final item of business, the board met with Sheriff’s Employee Group representative Dan Jackson to respond to the group’s salary request.

The board proposes improved dental insurance coverage and maintaining the current health insurance plans, while leaving salaries and vacation time unchanged.

Jackson acknowledged the proposal and will share the information with the Sheriff’s employee group.