Granger Road on schedule to be resurfaced in 2014 —Lime Springs City to get in on deal

Parts of A-23 are missing huge chunks of asphalt. The road is set to be fixed in 2014.

Parts of A-23 are missing huge chunks of asphalt. The road is set to be fixed in 2014.

By Marcie Klomp

County Engineer Nick Rissman told Lime Springs City Council the county was planning to resurface the A-23, the blacktop going from Lime Springs city limits to Cresco city limits in 2014. He wanted to give the town the opportunity to pony in on the project and get some resurfacing done from city limits (where the road is leading to the sewer plant) to the middle of the intersection of Jackson and North Miller (by Mitch Smith/Donna Ihns corner).

Rissman explained the cost would be $62,548 for asphalt and $63,611 for concrete. “I will probably recommend concrete to the board [of supervisors]. That will be determined in the next month or so.”

In the past, the county and cities affected have had a 28E agreement where the county pays for the entire project and allows cities to make payments for 10 years or so with no interest. He did not think that would change.

The engineer anticipated bid letting in February with work taking about 60 days. “We will have to shut the road down in stages,” Rissman stated.

He went on to say bid letting will take place in December for the bridge at Old Town. That project is being paid for with TIF (Tax Increment Financing) funds. “The entire bridge is getting replaced. It will take six to eight months,” he told council. The current bridge is 20 feet wide, and the new bridge will be 40 feet wide, which includes a bike path 10 feet wide on the west side.

Fire Chief Tony Roberts was worried about both roads being out at the same time, Rissman admitted both projects could be taking place at the same time. It was mentioned in situations like these it is good to have 28E agreements in place with other fire departments.

• In other business, Sheriff Mike Miner commented he had three deputies who worked during Sweet Corn Days. “I had two on Friday and only one on Saturday. They get $35 per hour.” The total cost is $560.

He explained other towns pay for sheriff protection during their celebrations.

Mayor Barb Robinson informed council that Supervisor Don Burnikel has mentioned the county was debating about providing funds for celebrations. “It has something to do with the windmill TIF money.”

Miner concluded his presentation by saying contracts for protection need to be renewed by July 1, 2014, so that paperwork will be coming soon.

• Jason Passmore updated council on LimeSprings Beef business thanking everyone for attending the groundbreaking. “[Economic Development] Director Debi Durham came early and drove around town and was really impressed. One thing she commented on was the bronze statues. I told her about the others in Howard County.”

The RISE grant was officially awarded on Aug. 13. The city’s 80/20 portion is $100,000.

• Casey Mai of Upper Explorerland said 93.8 percent of the Community Needs Assessment surveys were returned. Only 80 percent was required. (In past articles the Lime Springs Herald wrongly reported 100 percent participation was needed.) Everything worked out though, as 52 percent of the households were labeled as low to moderate income, giving Lime Springs the ability to apply for a larger number of grants.

• Roberts gave the fire department report stating firefighters and first responders were called to the locker for an anhydrous ammonia leak. “The son (Johnathon May) was standing right there and got a nose full. There was also a burn on his leg. He went for a ride in the ambulance. Keith Wherry said the same thing happened to him before.”

Two firefighters resigned at the last meeting—Greg Mahr and Ron Fitzgerald. They both felt they couldn’t dedicate the time to the department they have in the past. “Unfortunately, those resigning are people with a lot of experience we are losing,” said Robinson.

She then stated the Firemen’s Soup Supper is Sept. 29.

• Doc Lyon gave the Library report joking, “We made $229.70 at Bingo for Sweet Corn Days—all in quarters!” He ended his report by saying, “I urge you to enjoy your library—it’s free.”

• Carla Moser said the Community Center was in the process of spending Grace Hughes and Howard County Foundation grant money.

• Gary Klomp noted there was nothing to mention from Pool & Park Board.

• Council approved the Street Financial Report.

• Two building permits were approved by Public Works Director Casey Sebastian—Larry Gates and Craig Niewoehner. Council advised him to have Holly Kluender of the Hairport talk to neighbors about a privacy fence before approving it. She wants to put it up behind the building and around the empty lot that she recently purchased.

Resolutions were approved for transferring funds left over from the last fiscal year into a special fund for the Fire Department and Community Center.

• Council went into closed session per Iowa code 21.5(g)(h) pending a law enforcement issue. When council came back they voted not to pursue the matter.

The next council meeting will be Tuesday, Oct. 1, at 7 p.m. in the Community Center.

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