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Drainage Repair Request Approved

By Staff | Nov 12, 2013

A request to replace some crumbling tile gained the approval of the Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors during the weekly meeting of the board on Tuesday, Nov. 5.

Joe Joyce appeared before the supervisors to explain the situation he had encountered in Section 31 of Freedom Township with the Lateral 30 tile line. According to Joyce, his tiling contractor, Hagen Excavating, had pattern tiled the field and planned to connect into the county main at 50-foot intervals.

“We’ve pattern tiled the field and when we went to connect to the county tile, it just crumbles, it’s so old,” Joyce explained. “It just collapses in on itself.”

IN checking the county’s tile maps, Supervisor Keith Wirtz determined the portion of the lateral in question was a 12″ tile.

“How long a section are you trying to connect in to?” asked Board Chair Ron Graettinger.

“Checking it with the tractor, it came up at 1,860 to 1,900 feet,” Joyce answered.

“What are you wanting to do?” asked Supervisor Linus Solberg.

“I’d say just lay a new tile in the trench where the old one is,” Joyce suggested.

Wirtz agreed with the thought. “It wouldn’t take much to put it in the trench, and if the old tile is crumbling, it isn’t going to be much use to anyone.”

According to County Auditor Carmen Moser, a total of 439 acres drain into Lateral 30.

As the board discussed the proposal, it came to a consensus that Joyce’s plan could be accomplished for less than the $20,000 limit prescribed by drainage law for improvements or repairs.

“I’d move to replace and repair the Lateral 30 tile and accept the bid and plan of Hagen Excavating for the work,” noted Supervisor Ed Noonan, and with a second from Solberg, the motion was approved unanimously by the board.

In other business at the Nov. 5 meeting, the board set Jan. 7, 2014, as the date for a pair of public hearings on the Annexation of lands into Drainage District 15 North at 1 p.m. and the hearing on the Classification report for Drainage District 15 North at 1:30 p.m. Both hearing will be held at the Palo Alto County Election Center on South Broadway in Emmetsburg.

In his weekly briefing with the board, Palo Alto County Engineer Joel Fantz presented the Level B and No Snow Removal route map for final approval of the Supervisors. There are few changes to the system from last year’s map, and the board approved the map for the 2013-14 winter season.

Fantz also discussed the possibility of some budget amendments after the first of the year to accommodate some unexpected expenses in the Secondary Road Department. Among the expenses is the replacement of a garage door at the Emmetsburg shed, as well as additional gravel crushing, due to a greater yield than expected at the Cylinder pit. Repair work on drainage ditches that will be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency will see the department needing to amend a budget to account for the reimbursement.

“Another thing we’ve been looking at is the possibility of refurbishing one of our older Cat 140G motor graders,” Fantz said. “Caterpillar has a program where they will take an older 140G model and completely rebuild the motor and transmission and go completely through the electrical and hydraulic systems of the machine, for roughly around $70,000.”

Fantz noted that while the amount seemed large, the county had paid over $220,000 each for two new CAT graders in June of 2012, and that the older 140G model graders were actually holding up better than newer 140H model CAT machines.

“We haven’t done anymore than just get some preliminary numbers on this, but it certainly is something to think about,” Fantz said in closing.