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Supervisors Discuss Maintenance Agreements

By Staff | Nov 27, 2015

Ruthven Mayor David Kirk was on hand to discuss a maintenance agreement for Old Highway 18 and West St. in Ruthven between the county and the city of Ruthven at the regular meeting of the Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, November 24.

“When we last talked it was my understanding that the county engineer was going to get with the city staff to review the road work that we were going to have done on West St. and also come up with recommendations on what to do with Old Highway 18. Some time went by and we contacted the county engineer again and were told that there was some right of way information on West St. that shows it was given to the City of Ruthven,” Kirk said.

“At this time we were transitioning to a new city attorney and there was a new county engineer in place also. So we went ahead and took care of West St. because it needed it.”

“You took care of what part of it?” Supervisor Chair Craig Merrill asked.

“Of 2,500 square feet of West St. by the pool,” Kirk replied.

“I know where you are talking about,” Merrill said. ” You fixed it or what?”

“We fixed it. We didn’t have time to be going back and forth. It needed to get done. Once our new city attorney was on board we had him digging into stuff regarding right of ways,” Kirk said. “Under his opinions we have standard 50/50 agreements for West St. and Old Highway 18. I understand there is some ambiguity over right of way and whether the state properly transferred Old Highway 18 to the city and county, but we feel the 50/50 agreement stands.”

“I have come here today to one request that the county pay for half of the repairs to West St. The total cost was $14,375 with the county’s share to be $7,172.50 and then also we would like to continue working with the county engineer to evaluate Old Highway 18 and come up with a plan for that. We also discussed having the county engineer taking a look at the section of Carr St from the city limit to the cemetery.”

“Is that a 50/50 agreement also?” Supervisor Ed Noonan questioned.

“No that is county. That road is getting rough,” Kirk said.

“Washboardy you mean?” Merrill asked.

“Yes. We just want the county engineer to come out and come up with a plan that would help the road,” Kirk said. “We just want to start planning the projects for the next year or two. Right now our main concern is half of the cost of repair to West St. and coming up with a plan for Old Highway 18.”

“Old Highway 18 needs something. It has speed bumps where there shouldn’t be any,” Noonan commented.

“Yes, something needs to be done with this road although I’m not quit sure the county is responsible because of how this road was transferred, I’m not sure that the city is responsible for it either,” Palo Alto County Engineer Walter Davis-Oeth said.

“Send the bill to the state then you are saying,” Noonan said.

“Well what I am suggesting is that it was owned by deed at one point in time and I’m not sure what happened to the easements and right of way. I have no record of them being transferred. We do have a 50/50 agreement and the county and city have acted in such a fashion,” Davis-Oeth said. “We should probably make sure that everything is cleared up before agreeing to fix it. Typically with transfer of jurisdiction there is a lump sum of cash transferred with it for repairs such as this.”

“There is needs to be better communication between the city of Ruthven and the county engineer going forward regarding notification by letter of proposed road projects regarding these two roads,” Merrill said.

With a motion to pay $7,172.50 to the city of Ruthven, all were agreed.

“We need to figure out ownership of Old Highway 18 and this will take some time,” Merrill said.

“We would just like to get a plan to get Old Highway 18 fixed for the fiscal year 2017 so it will go side by side with ownership,” Kirk said.

In other business Davis-Oeth asked for the approval of a bridge embargo resolution by the Board, which had unanimous approval. Davis-Oeth also requested the approval of partial acquisitions from Country Nest Corporation, Douglas A. Bleckwenn, Byron L. Anliker and Leonard E. Anliker and Helen C. Anliker for right of way easement for B55. Approval was unanimous.

Val Newhouse was on hand to inform the Supervisors that Iowa Lakes Community College is putting a bond referendum in front of the citizens in the amount of $16,000,000 to be paid back over 15 years. It will be voted on February 2, 2016.

In final business, the Board approved a Class C Liquor License Commercial, Outdoor Service and Sunday Liquor Sales to the West Bend Country Club in West Bend and a Class C Beer Permit and Sunday Sales Liquor License for the Lakeland E-Z Stoppe in Ruthven.