Roads, Recycling and FEMA Topics at Supervisor Meeting
Roads, recycling and FEMA were the main topics of the regular meeting of the Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, August 23, with six county citizens on hand to listen and observe the meeting.
Palo Alto County Engineer Walter Davis-Oeth was on hand to get the approval of the Supervisors on hiring a shop superintendent and to update the Supervisors on progress on the paving of B55, the Rodman road.
“I have offered the position of Shop Superintendent to Andrew Stolley and he has accepted with the approval of the Supervisors,” Davis-Oeth began. “I have set his starting salary at $24.50 per hour and given him 2 weeks vacation after the first year. I feel that in order to be competitive in hiring this is what I need to do. His start date is September 19.”
Unanimous approval was given by the Supervisors.
“Currently they have one and one-fourth miles of B55 paved and the computer on the paving machine went out causing the project to halt,” Davis-Oeth said. “The new computer is here and is to be put in this morning so if the rain holds out they should get started on this road again after dinner.”
Davis-Oeth also reported on the aprons currently being manufactured for the dump trucks to use the shouldering machine. According to Davis-Oeth, Picray Welding of Emmetsburg will be manufacturing the aprons it is simply a matter of getting the material needed.
While going over claims Supervisor Ed Noonan questioned a claim from Shamrock Recycling for $1,990 wanting to know the time frame that amount included.
That’s for June,” Carmen Moser, Palo Alto County Auditor responded.
“Are people actually recycling now or what’s going on?” Noonan asked. “I know in Ayrshire they have that trailer and they are not using it now.”
“Why?” Linus Solberg, Supervisor Chairman questioned.
“To big of a hassle,” Noonan replied. “So I’m just wondering how many people are actually recycling now.”
“We are still recycling in Ruthven as if nothing has changed,” David Kirk, Ruthven Mayor said. “Some other communities are doing the same. Rodman has made space for the county to put one of their trailers in that area or so I have been told.”
“Do you think you are using it as much as you were?” Noonan asked
“Yes because we haven’t changed any policies,” Kirk said. “When we start talking about not collecting certain items like plastic bags and there will be no glass coming through, things will have to change.”
“When’s that going to happen?” Noonan asked.
“Don’t know,” Kirk said. “We told the powers that be we aren’t changing anything until we get an official request in writing and that was a month ago. Right now my guys are operating as if nothing has changed.”
“Keep us informed what’s going on that,” Noonan said.
“You look at the roll off at the transfer station and the cardboard is almost full all the time, but if you look in the plastics section, all you see is plastic bags full of plastic containers,” Supervisor Craig Merrill said. “People in general take a plastic bag and fill it up with plastic containers. That’s going be hard to change. I’m not saying we can’t do it but it will be hard.”
“It’s going to be dam near impossible to change,” Kirk responded. ” Somebody’s going to have to bite the bullet and hire an extra staff member to rip those bags open an put them in the individual bins. He doesn’t want to have to spend the money so he wants to transfer the cost to the cities and that’s not going to happen. That’s just my humble opinion”
In other business, discussion on the final FEMA appeal for Drainage District 175 with Gary Atherton, Engineer on the phone.
“I broke the final FEMA report into two separate reports in case the one covering debris removal, which is the lower cost of the two, is rejected,” Atherton explained. “Now we are waiting on the eligibility letter from the NRCS to replace the original one.”
“Should we send this report today?” Solberg asked.
” I think you can file the appeal today” Atherton replied. “We just don’t want it going on to Washington before we get the NRCS letter switched out.”
“How long does it take for the state to review the appeal?” Merrill asked.
“It will take 60 days to review the report in Des Moines before going to Washington,” Atherton said.
Moser was directed to put the reports into three ring binders and use tabs to locate exhibits and mail the report today.
In final business, discussion on Drainage District 61 Lateral B continued with a letter received by landowner Joseph Fehr, voicing his concern over waterway restoration versus an open ditch. The Supervisors directed Moser to create a letter stating why the Supervisors have decided to go with waterway restoration before going to the extreme of digging a five and a half mile open ditch through farmland and lowering the culverts through the roads to see if this repair will help improve drainage.