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Overhead Flashing Lights To Become A Thing Of The Past

April 13, 2017
by Anesa McGregor , Emmetsburg News

Palo Alto County Engineer Walter Davis-Oeth was on hand to present secondary road projects to the Palo Alto County Board Of Supervisors during their regular meeting Tuesday. April 11.

According to Davis-Oeth, the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) will be replacing the overhead flashing light at the intersection of U.S. Highway 18 and Gowrie Street at Ruthven with a stop sign that has flashing lights around the perimeter and a solar panel on top.

"The DOT is replacing the overhead flashing lights at intersections within the area. The one at Ruthven is the one in Palo Alto County," Davis-Oeth said. "They do everything from taking down to putting up the new signs so there is no cost to the county. It will more than likely happen late summer or early fall."

Money is the driving factor behind this replacement. Currently the DOT pays for the electricity to operate the overhead flashing lights.

In other Secondary Road business, Davis-Oeth brought up the agreement the county has with the County Conservation Board to put gravel in the drive of Sportsman's Park.

"According to the Resolution, if we decide to, we can submit a bill to the county conservation for those services," Davis-Oeth began. "In the past the work has not been billed out. Mary has said she has not paid for this before. I have some issues in doing this work mainly because I believe she has a budget and should be able to budget for a load of rock each year when she knows she is going to need it."

"We do provide the services for this, which we do at a fairly cheap rate, but it does take time away from my guys and what they are supposed to be doing," Davis-Oeth continued. "They are separate budgets and this comes up once or twice a year especially when they know they will be needing rock. I don't think it should be coming out of secondary roads budget."

"Part of it, I know we worked with them when they built the West Bend road, they gave us the fill, which was a tremendous amount," Supervisor Ron Graettinger commented. "I think what they have done for us in the past, we should work back and forth."

"How close do we need to keep track of stuff moving between county entities?" Supervisor Craig Merrill questioned.

"If it is paid for out of secondary roads fund, it is supposed to go toward secondary roads and engineer's expenses," Davis-Oeth replied. "This is one that is probably a grey area. If it was anyone besides County Conservation we would be sending a bill."

With further discussion, the Supervisors unanimously decided not to charge the County Conservation Board for a load of rock this year and discuss sending a bill next year.

In final Secondary Roads business, Davis-Oeth presented the Five Year Secondary Road Construction Program for 2018 through 2022. The program was approved four to one with Linus Solberg, Supervisor voting nay. Along with the five-year program, unanimous approval was given to approve the Palo Alto County Budget for the Iowa DOT.

Planning and Zoning Administrator Joe Neary was on hand to present three hog confinements for approval for conditional use permits.

Jay Clasing requested permits for a building in Silver Lake Township Section 7, which passed the Master Matrix and good neighbor policy and in Highland Township Section 22, which has a waiver signed by the resident that is closer than one half mile distance. Both locations received unanimous approval for conditional use permits.

The third hog confinement is in Booth Township, Section 11 for an additional building on the existing site. The project passed the master matrix but does not meet the good neighbor policy. Approval was not received for a conditional use permit due to not meeting the good neighbor policy.

The Supervisors approved the hiring of a part time jailer. Penny Hoffman will start at $15.26 per hour until certified.

In final business, the continued annexation hearing for Drainage District 13 is postponed to a date to be continued and on a conference call with the Pocahontas Supervisors, it was determined and agreed by both boards that a contractor be contacted for pricing to repair concrete tile in Joint Drainage District 63-Branch L.



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