Culvert finished, detour done
The county has installed a double-box culvert on the gravel portion of Brookville Road.
“Detour signs have been removed, the roads are open,” said Jefferson County Engineer Scott Cline Monday. “The fencing and seeding is finished. We had to put down some more rock, which was dust-controlled. The culvert has a floodgate with float levels installed. We’ll put up corner markers with reflectors, [because] this doesn’t have guardrails.”
Supervisor Dick Reed said regular drivers on this portion of Brookville Road have been accustomed to a single-lane drive across the culvert.
“I’m sure drivers are grateful to have two lanes now,” said Reed.
Reed reported a conversation he’d had with a resident on Suburban Heights Road where water erosion is washing out a culvert and water builds up in the resident’s yard.
“He said the city can’t move forward because this is not a priority with the county,” said Reed.
Cline was familiar with the resident and yard, having made a visit to see the problem.
“Does the county want to be in the business of fixing yards?” said Cline. “The culvert is the city’s responsibility and the city [through city manager Kevin Flanagan] has said it would provide the pipe and the county could provide the labor.”
The city of Fairfield does not have the equipment needed for the project, whereas the county does.
“I can see it wouldn’t be a priority for the county if it’s not the county’s issue,” said Reed. “I think he might not have been told the correct information.”
Cline said a bigger pipe could be used, but he suggested cutting some pavement and installing a second pipe a little distance from the first.
It was then that Reed and Cline realized they were talking about two different culverts, one under the driveway, which is the resident’s property and a city issue, which Reed had observed had washout occurring on the north end of the culvert; and a culvert passing under the road, which Cline said is the one he was talking about with the resident.
“It’s not our policy to improve private properties,” said supervisor chairman Lee Dimmitt. “The driveway culvert is a city issue.”
Reed was interested to drive out and look at the culverts, and reiterated the resident needed the correct information. Reed asked Cline to talk with Flanagan and then the resident.
A woman in the audience said she’s been driving the detour route onto Iris Avenue and reported an approach to a bridge is rutted and rough. Cline wrote it down to check on it.
Dimmitt said Area 10-15 is considering increasing fares on the 10-15 Transit buses.
“Fares have not been raised in a long time, and costs have increased,” he said. “The normal rides at $2 each within Fairfield and $4 around the county will remain the same.”
He said the Area 15 board would decide about transit rates at its next meeting.
Supervisor Becky Schmitz had attended a Henry County meeting about regionalization of mental health services.
“They are pretty close to getting a region set,” she said. “The counties are still discussing what the region will offer beyond the core services.”
Henry County is joining other Southeast Iowa counties to form a region offering mental health services, a state mandate.
Jefferson County has submitted a request to remain a stand-alone region as one county to continue providing mental health services.