Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Mar 22, 2018

Supervisors talk bridge replacement

Board also discusses three-county landfill
By Jon Gilrain, Ledger Correspondent | Feb 27, 2018

The Jefferson County Supervisors met Monday to hear the county engineer’s report, consider nuisance properties and discuss landfill planning.

Jefferson County Engineer Scott Cline said his department had been doing blading and rock hauling this week, adding and leveling gravel to improve the county’s non-paved roads after recent wet weather created sloppy conditions. County trucks were also out this past Saturday to deal with icy roads.

Supervisor Dick Reed announced that Access Energy Cooperative will join the Supervisors for the March 19 meeting to discuss its work in the county, and invited Cline to participate in the dialogue.

Of particular interest was the fact that Access doesn’t give any notice to the county about what work it will do or where in the county it will be operating. Cline said that Access Energy works on a permit basis in the county and gains easements from private property owners, and did not have a communication requirement.

Cline presented a letter sent to Maharishi Vedic City by the Iowa Department of Transportation offering funding for a bridge replacement on 175th Street over Mitchell Creek, which is shared with the county. The bridge was included on a city bridge candidate list and is eligible for federal aid swap funding up to $1 million or state city bridge funding up to $500,000. The bridge in question is of timber construction with a 15,000-pound load limit and would likely be replaced with a concrete double-box culvert design known for long maintenance-free service and a higher load capacity which would make load limits virtually irrelevant.

“It would be what’s considered a ‘legal’ bridge, anybody that comes along won’t even have to pay any attention to how they’re loaded. If they’re a legal load on the road, they can just drive on through like it’s not even there,” said Cline.

In either program, the city could receive up to an 80 percent reimbursement for the cost of replacing the bridge. The county’s interest in the project stems from the bridges position connecting the city with the county.

Reed represents Jefferson County on the three-county landfill board, which is currently doing strategic planning for the year. One area of concern being addressed in this year’s planning is leachate, a liquid that seeps out of the garbage into a lagoon.

“We spend a considerable amount of money trucking this stuff out to the waste water treatment plant in Hedrick. We spend upwards of $200,000 per year, so we’re always looking for a better way,” said Reed.

Plastic retail bags blowing out of the landfill also present an ongoing concern along with carpeting and mattresses which consume a great deal of space.

“They don’t decompose, they aren’t recyclable, and they sure do like to fly in the air!” Reed said. “A big thing at the three-county landfill is corralling those things. And, can you imagine somebody dropping off 100 mattresses? I mean what a mess!”

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