Supervisors approve agreement with DOT in regard to Driftless Area Scenic Byway

by Joe Moses

The Allamakee County Board of Supervisors met in regular session Monday, May 14 to discuss a variety of agenda items, including a personnel matter in the Allamakee County Treasurer’s office, consideration of an agreement between the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) and Allamakee County involving designated Iowa Byways and setting letting dates for Secondary Roads construction projects. There was no public comment.

Allamakee County Treasurer Lori Hesse discussed a personnel matter involving her recommendation to promote Rita Troendle from Motor Vehicle Clerk status to Second Deputy Clerk status. Hesse indicated that Troendle works 20-25 hours per week with part-time status and that her recommendation would take effect July 1 of this year with a raise to $16.13 per hour, which is 53% of the Treasurer’s salary. The Supervisors approved the promotion of Troendle to Second Deputy Clerk at the discussed pay rate.

Allamakee County Engineer Brian Ridenour discussed the agreement between the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) and Allamakee County for designated Iowa Byways, Byway management and signage maintenance. Ridenour presented a map to the Supervisors of the Driftless Area Scenic Byway depicting two proposed additions to the route. Those additions include a paved loop north of Harpers Ferry on Lafayette Ridge Drive and Lansing Harpers Road that would replace a gravel portion of the route on Collins Ridge Road, and an addition starting at Waukon on County Highway A52/Old Stage Road leading to Decorah and then back to Allamakee County on County Road A26/Big Canoe Road/Bear Creek Drive.

Ridenour explained that the DOT pays for the signage and posts, with the County installing and maintaining the signage. Executive Director Val Reinke with Allamakee County Economic Development (ACED) discussed the original 100-mile portion of the Driftless Area Scenic Byway and the contributing organizations making these additions possible. The Supervisors approved the agreement between the DOT and Allamakee County for the designated Byway, Byway management and signage maintenance.

Ridenour then discussed setting June 4 at 10 a.m. as the letting date for two projects, Makee Drive grading and paving, as well as three culverts on Dorchester Drive. Ridenour indicated that the Makee Drive grading would take place this summer with the paving to be done next year. The Supervisors approved June 4 at 10 a.m. as the letting date for both projects.

Under Department Head Updates, Ridenour discussed his involvement with the Driftless Byway Board and further addressed the Driftless Area Scenic Byway agenda item, indicating that the DOT handles signage replacement and material costs with the County handling installation with plans and instructions for signage placement provided by the DOT. Ridenour discussed that potholes are being patched, road shoulders are being repaired, some grass mowing has begun and other rainfall-related tree and road damage repairs are being taken care of. The Supervisors and Ridenour discussed tentative plans to visit a property affected by water damage and to tour various road projects following the May 21 Supervisors meeting.

Allamakee County Conservation Director Jim Janett thanked Schellhammer for his involvement with the recent Eastern Iowa Tourism meeting held at the Driftless Area Education and Visitors Center. Janett discussed some weather-related damage that will be repaired, including the removal of mud from handicapped accessible fishing areas. Janett also discussed some temporary part-time positions to be filled, as well as the joint Conservation Board and Foundation Board meeting to take place the first Tuesday in June. He also said that Fehr-Graham Engineering has been awarded the ACEC-Iowa Engineering Excellence Award for its work completed on the Driftless Area Education and Visitors Center project.

Allamakee County Auditor Denise Beyer discussed poll worker vacancies to be filled and security measures being used with election laptop computers. Beyer also discussed the “Voter Ready” articles that have been published in The Standard the past several weeks.

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