Bunker Mill Bridge soldSupervisors will pay $80,000 to Friends of Bunker Mill Bridge
The Friends of Bunker Mill Bridge (FBMB) and the North Skunk River Greenbelt Association (NSRGA) bought the Bunker Mill Bridge for $1 this morning during the Washington County Board of Supervisors special session.
In addition to owning the bridge, the supervisors will also pay the group $80,000 to remove the bridge for reconstruction.
County Engineer Jacob Thorius said that he estimated the cost to demolish the bridge at $82,500.
When the meeting began, County Attorney Larry Brock said that the purchase agreement he had did not include two of three changes he wanted to have in the agreement.
Julie Bower of NSRGA said that Brock probably didn’t have the most up-to-date version of the agreement. After hashing out some details, the supervisors took a 15-minute recess. Brock invited them to use his office to make the necessary changes.
Supervisor Jack Seward Jr. made the motion to approve the agreement.
“This case, this case only, this is the way maybe we ought to do it rather than the way it’s done in a normal routine fashion, because this is far from normal and routine,” Seward said. “I’m willing to make the exception in this particular case under these set of circumstances.”
Supervisor Bob Yoder seconded the motion and said that should anything similar arise in the future, the supervisors would deal with it on a case-by-case basis.
The supervisors approved the motion unanimously.
When that vote was done, Scott Allen of FBMB had tears in his eyes. He is the great-great-grandson of the man who owned the Bunker Mill.
When the FBMB was organized in September, Allen said, “David Bunker was my great-great-grandfather and this bridge is extremely important to me. If it wasn’t for that mill [Bunker Mill] and that bridge, Kalona wouldn’t be here.”
Bower invited the supervisors to pound a rivet into the bridge to celebrate the project.
FBMB treasurer Jim Hussey stood and handed board chairman Steve Davis a Sacagawea dollar coin to finish the transaction.
Davis said he will have to give the coin to the county treasurer. He hopes the treasurer will exchange the coin for a one-dollar bill so the board can frame the Sacagawea coin.