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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 18, 2017

Supervisors approve road change orders

By Rusty Ebert, Ledger correspondent | Oct 11, 2017

KEOSAUQUA – Van Buren County Supervisors approved a change order during Monday’s meeting on a J-40 asphalt overlay project between Bentonsport and Bonaparte.

The board changed the overlay depth from 3 to 4 inches and added base patching in various areas of the project.

Van Buren County Engineer Ryne Thornburg said a previous county engineer decided not to authorize the measuring of existing road depth along that section by drilling core samples. During the overlay project currently in progress, the contractors discovered that the  estimates were wrong and that much patching and overlay had to be done. He did not have the total cost.

Thornburg updated the board on other projects such as setting the date for public hearing on various portions of 150th Street west of 160th Street in Village Township, trees on county right-of-way in Bentonsport and W40 patching.

Thornburg discussed potential vacations of roadways. He listed the following roads that supervisors could consider for road vacations:

Hickory, north of 245th Street.

Redbud, south of Highway 2

Hawk, west of Acorn

Hawk, between Lark and Roger Schafer’s driveway

Emerald, north of Highway 16

Garden, south of 197th

202nd, west of Ivy Trail

100th, north of J56 (shared with Lee County)

Level “C”, north of 245th (shared with Davis County)

Unused platted right-of-ways in all of the unincorporated towns

• Representatives of the domestic violence intervention program involving eight southeast Iowa counties, including Van Buren, were present to talk about the program and discuss a request for a board proclamation proclaiming October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The board passed the proclamation. Representatives said that they served 18 clients last year in Van Buren County for domestic violence.

• Kris Rankin, representing the SAFE Coalition, was present to update the board on SAFE Coalition issues and programs. The SAFE coalition was awarded the Iowa Partnership for Success Grant in February 2015, to address underage drinking and underage binge drinking in the county. It is funded by the Iowa Department of Public Health, through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

• Bentonsport residents Rick and Nancy Alexander and Gillian Butler were present to discuss the condition of trees on the county railroad right-of-way in Bentonsport adjacent to their properties. The properties are located along old Second Street, just west of Wall Street. They are concerned about trees falling on their property and the potential to damage homes.

Van Buren secondary roads will address the issue, according to Thornburg. Supervisors approved a motion to authorize the county engineer to remove trees/brush on county road right-of-ways.

•The supervisors approved setting a public hearing for 10 a.m. Oct. 23 on the closure and vacation of a portion of 150th Street.

• An amendment to the county budget was approved as follows: Public Safety-$1,221,486 to $1,301,486, Physical Health-$491,395 to $506,895, Mental Health-$249,780 to $299,780, Government Services-$282,895 to $301,895, Non-program current-$5,600 to $65,600 with the following approved appropriations: Auditor-$241,681 to $250,681, Sheriff-$1,040,737 to $1,051,737, Medical Examiner-$17,000 to $27,000, District Court-$13,000 to $28,500, Juvenile Detention-$17,000 to $35,000, Mental Health-$249,780 to $299,780, Non-Departmental-$330,789 to $444,789.

• A listing of homestead and military credit application for the 2018-2019 tax payable year was approved as presented.

• The following members of the Van Buren County Compensation Board were appointed for terms ending June 30, 2021: Twila Westercamp, Keosauqua, and Barb Morris, Keosauqua. They represent the supervisors.

• Board members reported on various committee meetings held including REDI, RPC, RPC Policy Board, 10/15 Transit, Decat.

Supervisor Ted Nixon said that the city of Farmington was awarded $270,000 for a water project and the city of Bonaparte was awarded funds for an emergency warning system pending approval of foundation grants.

• Supervisors began discussion of a reduction in the number of precincts in the county. Van Buren County Auditor Jon Finney said that if the supervisors wanted to reduce the number of precincts, now was the time before new voting machines were purchased. He said that two machines for one precinct would cost around $8,000 to $10,000. In addition to the cost of machines for each precinct, there are poll workers.

Finney said there are no easy answers because the county’s population was not centralized in one town. There are eight precincts in the county.

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