The Tama County Board of Supervisors heard County Engineer Lyle Brehm provide an update on his roads department at its regular meeting on September 13.
The crews will be spending time hauling rocks in the near future and plan to start a bridge replacement project on E Avenue in western Tama County soon. A small bridge is expected to be replaced with a box culvert on the roadway in the coming weeks.
The highways department will also soon be working at Salt Creek near Elberon to help redirect water flow that has moved toward the shore over time.
Brehm said the plan is to install rock wing dikes that would be high enough to adjust the direction of water flow but short enough to allow overflow to pass easily over them.
Brehm also provided an update on the proposed bridge that Benton County is leading north of Dysart on the V37.
The bridge deck has recently been sunk, which should allow the road to open in the coming weeks, barring any setbacks and additional work to be done, including the casting of the guide rails.
Supervisors also heard from Director of Human Resources Tammy Wise on two issues.
Wise said she has formed a US Rescue Plan Allocation Committee that will work to hear requests and allocate funds from federal aid from the American Rescue Plan Act.
The committee was open to all county employees to express their interest in serving. Members will include Treasurer Michelle Yuska, Director of Public Health Shannon Zoffka, Director of Economic Development Katherine Ollendieck, Assistant Auditor Maureen Kratoska and Joel Faircloth.
The committee will develop an application form that county departments and entities can use to apply for funding from the county’s federal allocation.
Wise also provided a brief update on the investigation of an all-terrain vehicle and all-terrain utility vehicle ordinance that was proposed by a group of residents the previous week.
His report said the county would see no additional insurance costs if it decided to legalize the use of vehicles on county roads.
Wise asked the board to consider whether or not to allow vehicles on hard versus gravel roads and whether it would be better to allow vehicles with a speed limit of 35 mph. to travel on roads with speed limits of 55 mph.
Ollendieck was also present at the meeting and spoke about the tourism benefits of opening up the county to more recreational vehicles.
She said places like Oak Ridge MX in Garwin and Club Sport which operate from OHV Park in Tama would be eager to host events for ATV or UTV riders. Ollendieck estimated that thousands of tourists have been brought to the county each year for motocross events in Oak Ridge and that adding events for UTV or ATV riders would further increase that number.
The board took no action regarding the ATV / UTV ordinance at Monday’s meeting, although the measure is expected to be reviewed in the near future.
Deputy Director of Public Health Lori Johnson appeared before the board of directors on Monday to renew an agreement with the Iowa DNR that would establish the state’s Department of DNR’s authorization authority for wells County.
Johnson said five wells have been dug in Tama County since April. Those looking to install a new well must pay a permit fee of $ 250. Financial assistance across the county is available for residents in need of well rehabilitation.
The council decided to table the agreement for two weeks.
Katherine Ollendieck presented the board with an invoice for a tourism ad on Monday.
The Tama County Tourism Committee ran a full page ad in Central Iowa Tourism magazine for $ 500. The ad features a number of tourist attractions in the county, including the Matchstick Marvels Museum in Gladbrook, the Salt and Pepper Gallery in Traer, and the Wieting Theater in Toledo.
Ollendieck said his department will be working this winter to update Tama County tour guides and requests for books have increased in recent weeks.
The board approved the bill, which Ollendieck said could be partially offset by the organizations listed in the ad paying a sponsor fee to be included.