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Drainage Improvement For Drainage District 61 Still Undecided

By Staff | Mar 6, 2018

The Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors held a meeting with 36 landowners to discuss improvements to the main open ditch in Drainage District 61 on Tuesday, Feb. 27, along with Drainage Engineers from Bolton and Menk of Spencer and Drainage Attorney Jim Hudson from Hudson Law Office in Pocahontas.

Hudson began the meeting by reviewing drainage law as it applies to this project and explained several options of payment.

Jonathan Rosengren, Drainage Engineer from Bolton and Menk of Spencer, then began to explain the third amendment to the report for DD 61. With some adjustment to the Stream Channel Mitigation, the total estimated project cost is $2,256,267.

This amount includes a full cleanout of Prairie Creek beginning at 475th Street and ending south of 485th Street. Also included in this project is a High Overflow Channel that will follow the existing channel for 3,000 feet. Average cost per acre of land currently within the District (14,804 acres) comes to $152; however, with the annexation of slightly over 20,000 acres, the average cost per acre within the District (37,372 acres) would come down to $60.

There was some discussion regarding the project, when it was brought to the attention of landowners that with the new rules of the Corp of Engineers, nothing could begin on the project until a permit is issued.

“I recommend that we apply for the permit and continue the hearings until we see if we get the permit,” Don Etler, Drainage Engineer from Bolton and Menk of Spencer said. “It will take the Corp of Engineers at least three months to review the permit application and I would schedule another hearing at least six months from now.”

The Supervisors unanimously approved Etler to file the permit application with the Corp of Engineers and another hearing will be scheduled later.

In other business, the Board of Supervisors approved a wage increase of 2.5 % for County employees excluding the Sheriff’s Office.

Palo Alto County Engineer Walter Davis-Oeth presented a Partial Acquisition contract for the Wayne and Shirley Knutson Testamentary Trust which is along the N26 corridor. Unanimous approval was given.

Davis-Oeth also discussed the possible purchase of an additional mower. It would be a New Holland Disc Mower. This mower has a back mower, for the shoulders and a side mower, for the slope in the ditch. Estimated cost is $9,450. No decision was made at this time.

The Supervisors went into closed session under Iowa Code Chapter 20.17(3) to discuss bargaining strategy for about 20 minutes.

After the closed session, the Supervisors voted unanimously to accept the tentative agreement between PPME Local 2003 (Secondary Roads) and Palo Alto County. This includes a 2.5 % wage increase for Secondary Roads employees.

In final business, the Bid Letting Date and Public Hearing has been set for Tuesday, April 17 at the Election Center for Drainage District 84 at 1:00 p.m. and Drainage District 175 at 2:00 p.m.