Fairfield Ledger

Neighbors Growing Together | Apr 23, 2014

Ash Avenue bridges ready for replacement

By DIANE VANCE | Dec 30, 2013

Two bridges on Ash Avenue are scheduled for replacement and bids will be solicited in April, Jefferson County Engineer Scott Cline told the board of supervisors today.

The northern bridge over Cedar Creek is the larger project, and will be made about a foot higher than its current height. Both bridges, the second one over Honey Creek, will be 24.5-feet wide.

“This will make them both legal for semis,” said supervisor Dick Reed.

Both bridge replacements will be 80 percent funded from federal and state funds, and 20 percent from local county funds.

“The program amount for the larger project is $600,000, and Honey Creek is $350,000,” said Cline.

“We’re coordinating with Iowa Department of Transportation to have one contractor for both bridges. There’s a chance the work can be completed before next winter.”

Reed said it would be a good idea to look at needed detour routes before the projects begin, so plans can be made about dust-proofing if needed.

For the sixth consecutive year, the supervisors proclaimed January as Radon Action Month.

Dan Miller, Jefferson County administrator of environmental health, asked the board for the proclamation and provided information about last year’s Radon Action Month.

“Radon is easy to test for and easy to mitigate,” he said. “The Environmental Protection Agency recommends all buildings be tested. Indoor radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. The age of a building doesn’t matter. Radon naturally occurs in soil. Any type of building can be affected.”

Last year, Miller received a grant to purchase 125 home radon-testing kits, which were available for free to Jefferson County residents. He said the 125 kits were gone within eight days.

“We had 123 results returned, and 63 houses were at or above the recommended limit of radon present,” said Miller. “So far, 14 of the 63 houses have mitigated the problem.”

He estimated it costs $1,200 to $1,500 to install a ventilation pipe from below the house foundation to the outside to mitigate radon indoors.

Miller has applied for a grant again this year for more kits to give away.

“The Lion’s Club has donated money to purchase 50 radon home testing kits to give away,” he said.”

Miller said he would be notified by 4:30 p.m. Tuesday whether he’s getting a grant again or not. Public service announcements will go out to the community and residents can pick up a free test kit beginning at 9 a.m. until noon Thursday at the office at 901 N. Eighth St., in Fairfield, and each business day, 9 a.m. to noon, thereafter until the kits are gone.

“Radon test kits for homes are $6 to $10 and can be purchased at hardware stores,” he said.

On the county website for Environmental Health, information about radon includes:

• Radon test kits can be purchased locally or by going online to www.lcchh.org.

• For more information go to, www.idph.state.ia.us/radon/ or www.epa.gov/radon/, or www.radoniniowa.com or call the Iowa Department of Public Health Radon Hot Line at 800-383-5992.

Miller’s office phone is 472-3398.

The outdoor pool and new gym task force asked for the county’s support and endorsement of the task force applying for a $1.8 million Community Attraction and Tourism grant to help fund the $10 million project.

The board of supervisors signed the letter of support.

Assistant County Attorney Pat McAvan addressed a concern raised at last week’s supervisors meeting about selling nine acres of county-owned land to a rural neighbor, Mark Porter. It had been discussed that the sale of the land could be considered an urban development project and not require a sealed bid process.

McAvan said he didn’t think it fit an urban renewal project parameters, but since it was pastureland, not tax-accessed as residential, the land could be sold through a resolution.

“You would need to name the price in the resolution and hold a public hearing,” McAvan said.

The supervisors agreed that was the way they would do it.

Cline said he had contacted a surveyor as directed to have the property surveyed.

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