Supervisors discuss pair of bridge projects, approve second reading of ordinance regarding Pioneer Cemetery Commission, hear latest update on Public Safety Center

by Joe Moses

The Allamakee County Board of Supervisors met in regular session Monday, August 7 at the Dolores Tillinghast Memorial Library in Harpers Ferry as part of the board's efforts to meet in various communities throughout the county over the course of the year. The board addressed a full agenda of items, including a Second Reading of an Ordinance to establish a Pioneer Cemetery Commission, Consideration of Bids for the North Fork Hollow Road Bridge and a Des Moines Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI®) update for Harpers Ferry.

Chairperson Larry Schellhammer called the meeting to order. County Auditor Denise Beyer advised that the plat approval for Steven L. and Patricia M. Scholtes would need to be removed from the meeting agenda.

The Supervisors moved into Public Comment, with Ann Klees of rural Waterville discussing the condition of gravel on Chimney Rock Road, Maud Road and Sherman Ridge Road south and east of Waukon. Klees explained that the rock being put on these roads is sharp and harsh, and has caused problems for her horse's hooves and has also created issues for the Amish that travel by horse on these gravel roads. Klees indicated that she has spoken with Allamakee County Engineer Brian Ridenour and that he has advised that these roads will be graded to mix the old and new rock and will improve after a few rainfalls.

The Second Reading for Ordinance LVII regarding the establishment of a Pioneer Cemetery Commission was approved by the Supervisors without any written or verbal comments. The Supervisors decided to take no action on the next three agenda items relating to the Pioneer Cemetery Commission, including the Third Reading for Ordinance LVII, the adoption of the ordinance and setting a date and time for a Fiscal-Year 2018 budget amendment.

The Supervisors moved into the Consideration of the Contract and Bond for the County Line Bridge on Ferris Mill Road, a shared project between Allamakee and Winneshiek Counties. Ridenour indicated that the Winneshiek County Board of Supervisors has approved the contract and bond of $289,720 with Brennan Construction, which the Allamakee County Supervisors also approved at Monday's meeting.

Ridenour discussed the next agenda item relating to the Consideration of Bids for the North Fork Hollow Road Bridge, which received five bids from contractors. Ridenour advised that this is a federal aid project that will have 80% of the cost covered by Federal funding, with the County responsible for the remaining 20%. Ridenour recommended the low bid received from Taylor Construction at $444,118, which was 2.27% lower than the engineer's estimate of $454,444, with the Supervisors approving the bid.

Assistant City Clerk and RAGBRAI Co-Chair for Harpers Ferry Sheila Diggins provided a RAGBRAI update  indicating that events went well working with seven different non-profits and that the City has received positive feedback from riders and those involved. Diggins estimated that 3,000 to 4,000 RAGBRAI participants were served at the fish fry and that the hospitality and decoration committees for the community did a great job. Diggins also discussed the Great River Rumble and the final day of the event that took place from Harpers Ferry to Prairie du Chien, WI this past weekend, involving close to 200 kayaks and canoes.

As part of the meeting, the Supervisors toured the Dolores Tillinghast Memorial Library and part-time librarian Diane Nation provided an overview of the library's programs and offerings for the public.

John Hansen with Midwest Construction Consultants was present to discuss several Public Safety Center items. Hansen provided an update on the project's progress, indicating that the project is essentially complete with some minor issues to be addressed, including some floor tiles that need to be placed over the underground plumbing repairs that were recently made with the cement first needing time to cure.

Hansen provided a further overview of the project, discussing that the project was a success, a great use of the former Makee Manor site and that the initially future expansion of the facility was, instead, completed during construction while staying under budget. Hansen discussed the use of warranty reports and the ongoing tracking of issues, with operational issues receiving immediate repair and any paint or cosmetic issues being taken care of toward the end of the warranty period to ensure long-term solutions.

Hansen provided a change order for additional electrical work completed by SEE Electric for $812.63, which the Supervisors approved. Hansen also discussed the final billings with the remainder to go into the contingency fund and that billings for work by Olympic Builders, at $108,161.10, and Waukon Feed Ranch, at $4,050.91, may need to be handled by conference call when received. Hansen indicated that $11,382.87 remains in the contingency fund, which could be used for backlit signage for the Public Safety Center to better identify the building, and that some seeding needs to be done around the building.

Pay requests were approved for the Public Safety Center project, with the current bill of $135,292.82 and the total billed to date at $5,119,046.10. Hansen requested a letter of recommendation for Midwest Construction Consultants to be shared as they bid on other projects elsewhere, which will be added to next week's agenda.

Under Department Head Updates, Auditor Beyer discussed the progress of taxes, which are currently at the printer, with tax statements to be received by mail starting next week for some property owners.

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