Road conditions much discussed at meeting
Jefferson County Board of Supervisors discussed roads Monday with input from the public and a representative of Maharishi Vedic City.
County Engineer Scott Cline reported work would begin this week to replace a narrow pony truss bridge with a double-box culvert on the gravel portion of Brookville Road.
“The road will be closed beginning Thursday for six or seven weeks,” said Cline.
Supervisor Dick Reed asked if signs could be placed in advance to notify drivers the road would close.
Cline said the contractor will place signs when work starts, but, “we’ll try to figure out advance signage,” he said.
“I got a call Sunday about a sinkhole on 185th Street,” said Reed.
Audience member Tim Tedrow addressed the supervisors and engineer about roads.
“Mint Boulevard has not been bladed since the last snow storm,” said Tedrow. “It has a hole in the center of the road and no flags mark it.”
Cline said he’d already forwarded an inquiry to the roads supervisor about it.
“From the corner south [on Mint] to 240th, there’s a groove 8 inches deep and if there’s oncoming traffic, it’s hard to negotiate,” said Tedrow. “This part hasn’t been bladed since April.
“Marigold Avenue has been bladed in spots,” said Tedrow. “A culvert is washing out in the curve where the school bus wrecked this winter. This has been happening over four or five years. From Highway 1 to the water department, that section is terribly rough. It’s joint ownership with county, city and the state highway department building there, so, it seems no one wants to maintain it. It’s the worst by the intersection with Highway 1.”
Tedrow also said he thinks the road maintainer is not putting enough crown on the roads.
“I think he needs some guidance and supervision; when he blades, he’s not getting clear to the edge and getting the washouts out,” said Tedrow. “And he doesn’t seem to know his territory. On Turkey Run, he stopped several hundred yards short of the county line. It’s never been mowed or bladed that last section to the county line.
“I don’t want to only complain,” said Tedrow. “Your brush-cutter guy did a good job taking out bushes and trees.
“Along south 240th and 257th streets the brush cutter mowed, but the high piles of weeds are still along the side and block visibility.”
Kent Boyum, director of economic development and government relations for Maharishi Vedic City returned to the supervisors for a second week about the new fiscal year 28E Agreement between the city and county for road maintenance.
Supervisors received a copy with some changes made by Maharishi Vedic City council and had asked Assistant County Attorney Pat McAvan to review it.
“The language about speed limits on 170th and Jasmine Avenue will not exceed 45 mph, the existing speed limit, doesn’t make sense,” said McAvan. “The existing speed limit is not 45 mph. It’s 55 mph in some places and 45 mph in others. Scott Cline’s and my opinion are under the former [28E] Agreement; the city had no authority to change speed limits.
“Scott is conducting a traffic survey now in that area, and it’s possible it will all be set at 45 mph.”
Boyum explained the background.
“I talked with Tom Goff [former Jefferson County engineer, retired in June 2012] and asked to have 45 mph speed limit signs by Chris’s hotel [Johnson, owner/manager of Rukmapura Park Hotel]. What happened is he put them up on Jasmine when I asked Tom to have them on 170th.
“In our agreement, Tom thought suburban development was the best type of development for the area.”
Reed said Boyum’s point was moot.
“It’s not in writing, and Tom is gone,” said Reed.
McAvan said discussing this with Cline, neither foresees a reason to increase any speed limits already posted in Maharishi Vedic City.
“Where the limits are 45 mph, we can agree not to increase,” said McAvan. “And where it’s posted 55 mph, we can’t.”
Reed said the area of 170th Street by Johnson’s hotel should be 45 mph.
The supervisors concluded the sentence about speed limits not exceeding the existing speed limits be taken out of the agreement to lesson confusion.
McAvan brought another section of the agreement to the supervisors’ attention: The city is responsible for any new entrances in consultation with the county engineer.
“You should have some type of indemnity written in the 28E Agreement that consequences are on Maharishi Vedic City and not the county,” said McAvan.
“Whether I recommend a plan or not, it should be the city’s responsibility,” said Cline.
The supervisors agreed an indemnity clause should be included.
Finally, the city council had added a statement about the county engineer meeting with the council from time to time, no more often than on a quarterly basis as requested by the city council.
“Scott’s issue is no meeting should be mutually inconvenient,” said McAvan.
Supervisor chairman Lee Dimmitt said he thought the engineer and the city council should meet more than quarterly, as needed.
“We could drop the quarterly limit and say the two entities can meet at the request of either,” said Dimmitt.
Boyum will take the revised revision of the 28E Agreement back to Maharishi Vedic City council.
In other news, Cline said he has a meeting with Federal Emergency Management Agency Tuesday to discuss the county’s storm damages from April 17.
“Scott and I met with state officials regarding this storm’s flooding,” said Dimmitt. “It sounded pretty positive. It sounds like we can go forward to do the work, and we’ll get reimbursed.”
Cline said the county had used temporary emergency procedures after the April 17 storm, including placing barriers and detour signs around.
“We used a lot of rock to fill in wash-outs,” he said. “Some of the repairs were temporary. Now we need to do the more permanent repairs.”