Washington Evening Journal
http://washington-ia.villagesoup.com/p/983120

Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 30, 2014

Road construction projects heat up

Supervisors also discuss RUSS April 10 deadline Tuesday morning
By Linda Wenger | Apr 02, 2013
County engineer Jacob Thorius presented the county’s five-year construction program to the Washington County Board of Supervisors in a work session Tuesday morning. The program includes funding sources, funding availability and bridge and road projects. Auditor Dan Widmer is also pictured.

With spring weather finally shoving winter out of the way, the battle with potholes and road construction season begins. In addition, the April 10 deadline of the Regional Utility System Services (RUSS) drew closer with no decisions being made by the Washington County Board of Supervisors during the weekly meeting Tuesday morning.
County engineer Jacob Thorius presented six resolutions pertaining to public highway easements for two Secondary Roads projects set to begin this construction season. He said the easements are needed for projects on the Old White Way and Underwood Avenue. He said an “S” curve on the Old White Way will be smoothed out and a bridge on Underwood will be replaced with a box culvert.
Thorius said all of the landowners want their roads fixed. He also said the changes will make the roads safer for the traveling public.
Supervisor Jack Seward said the easements total just under $11,000.
Supervisor Steve Davis abstained from voting on one of the resolutions because it dealt with property owned by his brother.
As for the RUSS deadline, Seward said he had no recommendation for two resolutions proposed by RUSS as to the board’s intentions to proceed with the Richmond and Rubio sanitary sewer projects.
Last week, Seward, who is a member of the RUSS Board, presented the two resolutions. He said his fellow RUSS Board members would like the county to tell RUSS if the county will move on the projects by April 10. The board did not act on the resolutions last week, but agreed to include them on the April 2 agenda.
This morning, Seward said he would make no recommendation on the resolutions. He said the county attorney said the board does not have to take action on the resolutions.
However, he said RUSS executive director Bruce Hudson visited Washington County and took turns speaking to the supervisors, one or two supervisors at a time in compliance with Iowa’s open meetings law.
Seward said there are three ways the supervisors could go. The first is to proceed with the projects as they stand. The second is to have RUSS develop an alternate plan. Under this plan it might be possible that Garden & Associates would sever its relationship with RUSS. The third way to go would be to “de-obligate” the Richmond part of the project.
Seward said the supervisors are doing their best to come up with alternative plans and to find the best solution.
The resolutions will be on the April 9 Board of Supervisors’ agenda. The RUSS Board’s monthly meeting is scheduled for April 10.
The board’s final action was to acknowledge the purchase of a new mower tractor for the Secondary Roads Department. Thorius said he obtained quotes from county business. The John Deere Store in Washington was the lowest quote of $66,144 for a John Deere Model 6115 four-wheel drive tractor.  The John Deere dealer in Kalona’s quote was approximately $74,000. The purchase is in the budget for fiscal year 2013-14.
The regular meeting adjourned about 10 a.m. At 10:30 a.m. the supervisors held a work session to go over the county engineer’s five-year construction program. That meeting lasted for nearly two hours. The plan will come before the supervisors for approval at a future meeting.

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