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Supervisors discuss interim engineer

March 28, 2014
By Michael Tidemann - Staff Writer , Estherville News

The Emmet County Board of Supervisors Tuesday discussed sharing an interim engineer with a neighboring county - or other options.

Board chair Alan Madden noted the board will discuss sharing opportunities with the Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors. That meeting is set for 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 1 at the River Valley Cooperative building in Graettinger. Madden said there will be a published agenda for the meeting and the Palo Alto County engineer will be present.

Madden said hiring either a full-time or temporary engineer would fulfill the county's obligations under the Iowa Department of Transportation.

If Emmet County shared with Palo Alto, Madden said Palo Alto would be the host county. Specifics to iron out would be the amount of time the engineer would devote to Emmet County duties, minimum duties and determining a termination period.

Madden clarified that if a private engineering company were hired, the company principal would have to be the designated county engineer. However, he said Jacobson-Westergard did not appear to be a possibility.

"I don't look at that as being an alternative," said Madden.

Madden said he assumed the Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors had visited with their county engineer about possible sharing.

In other business Tuesday, the board approved a weed control and abatement contract not to exceed $65,000 with Don Reffer of Weed Control Specialists.

The board also approved a proposal for adding a handicap-accessible entrance to the County Annex for $20,982.

The board also approved an easement release to Dennis Valen for property he bought along County N26.

According to county attorney Doug Hansen, Valen wants to build a machine on the property and had requested that the county release an existing road easement on the property.

The board also heard the road report from Dan Burton, assistant to the Emmet County engineer. Burton said he needed to put the five-year DOT plan and secondary roads budget on next week's agenda. Burton also discussed farm-to-market and Surface Transportation Program road funding.

Madden praised roads crew foreman Rich Blinkmann for road conditions this spring. He said people have been telling him crews were doing a good job.

"When they say something good about it, it's really nice to hear," Madden said.



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