County commission to study problem-causing drainUrged on by area landowners, the Davison County commissioners authorized the hiring of a civil engineering firm Tuesday to determine the scope of a project to repair County Drain No. 5.
By: Ross Dolan, The Daily Republic
Urged on by area landowners, the Davison County commissioners authorized the hiring of a civil engineering firm Tuesday to determine the scope of a project to repair County Drain No. 5.
The action occurred during the commission’s regular weekly courthouse meeting in Mitchell.
Deputy State’s Attorney Jim Taylor said property owners have the right to petition the county for the repair of the roughly 2.5-mile branch of Drain No. 5, which is about eight miles long and empties into Kibbee Ditch.
“The key is to define the scope of the project,” Taylor said, noting that repairs to the upper area of the drain might eventually mean the repair of the entire drain. Sections of the old pipe have collapsed, causing sinkholes in some area of the private land it crosses.
The cost for the repair project could be split among those who benefit as well as the county, and a hydrology study must be done to determine the beneficiaries.
Taylor said that county drains are defined as public works projects and cannot be repaired by private landowners.
“This has been an ongoing problem for many years,” Commissioner Denny Kiner said, “and it’s time to get moving and get something done.”
The project will be put out for bid once it has been defined, said Commission Chairman John Claggett.
Highway budget OK’d
Commissioners gave tentative approval to a $3.206 million highway budget for 2013, with the help of $100,000 in reserves.
The budget will allow the county to complete paving seven miles of Betts Road and two miles of 247th Street with a 3-inch asphalt mat next summer — a project that will cost about $1.6 million.
“We’re so far into the Betts Road project that it would be a waste of money not to complete it,” Kiner said. “The new base is solid and it’s time to pave it.”
The Highway Department will put a seal coat of oil on Betts next week that will hold the road over the winter. The road will be given a final paving during the 2013 construction season.
Central Electric site
County Maintenance Supervisor Mark Ruml said test results the county received this week noted minor PCB contamination on a concrete slab inside a storage shed at the former Central Electric building on North Main Street. The site can be cleaned with special solvents, said the test report.
The commissioners expressed concern last week that deep soil samples weren’t taken at the site to see if the PCBs — which were used to cool transformers — penetrated soils in the area. Tests by GeoTek of Sioux Falls found no contamination of surface soils. Core testing will cost the county an additional $5,415 to $6,470 if the commissioners decide to order it.
Taylor recommended checking with county insurers to get their requirements. Failure to do so might keep the county from getting insurance on that part of the property, if the county purchases it, he said.
Water district update
During the meeting’s citizen input segment, Dave Bartel, new manager for the James River Water Development District, introduced himself and pledged that his organization will work hard to regain public trust.
“We’re here to help,” Bartel said. “I only wish we had more money to help.”
He asked the county to prioritize any projects the JRWDD may be able to assist with.
Bartel said the JRWDD will meet Sept. 11 in Aberdeen to determine its 2013 budget.
“But we won’t be asking for any increase,” he said. “We’ll be working with the same amount of money as last year.”
Bartel said the JRWDD is also working to improve its website to better inform members on district projects. The minutes of meetings will also be posted on the site, he said.
Commissioner Jerry Fischer was tending to a family matter Tuesday and was absent. The commissioners also:
• Approved a plat of Lot 1 of Jackrabbit Addition in the southeast quarter of Section 8, Baker Township.
• Denied, in a 4-0 vote, Larice Hamilton’s application for a conditional use permit for a rubble site. Commissioners said it may be OK for farmers to bury rubble generated by a farm on that same farm, but burying rubble generated offsite, which would have been the case in Hamilton’s situation, is not permitted.
• Approved Winter Inc.’s conditional use application to operate a temporary concrete batch plant during the construction of the Jackrabbit Family Farms swine facility in Baker Township. A condition of the permit before work can be done is that the applicant must add 4 inches of gravel to Baker Township roads near the site. The project will be shut down if the applicant begins work without first complying with the requirement, agreed the commissioners. The applicant had previously agreed to the conditions during the application process. Another 2 inches of gravel must be added after the project is built.
• Set 10 a.m. Sept 4 as the time and date for a public hearing on the county’s provisional budget.
• Approved a $5,000 contingency transfer for the coroner’s budget.
• Noted receipt of a $10,502 insurance settlement check for a highway department truck that was totaled in an accident and damage to the trailer it was towing.
• Passed a resolution adding the city of Mount Vernon to the Consolidated Equalization Board.