By Bob Steenson, firstname.lastname@example.org
The county engineer urged people driving on rural Floyd County roads to exercise caution because there are still damaged areas after the weekend storm.
“Don’t be driving 60 miles per hour down gravel roads,” said Dusten Rolando at the county Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday morning. “There’s going to be hazards that people are going to come up on.”
Rolando said he estimates there was about $350,000 to $400,000 worth of damage to county roads because of flooding after Saturday’s heavy rain. There were still some roads closed Tuesday and many areas of washed-out shoulders or other problems.
“Right now we’re concentrating everything on the hard surface roads to open those, make sure all those are good,” he said.
“And then after the closed roads we’ll be dealing with the farm-to-market roads where there are washes, not necessarily closed,” Rolando said. “And then from the farm-to-market we’ll go to the area service roads — the local roads, the gravel roads.”
There may be barricades or signs placed along the roads to indicate rough areas until they can be fixed, he said.
While Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has issued a disaster proclamation that includes Floyd County, that probably won’t provide much funding help for his department, Rolando said. A presidential disaster proclamation is needed to release FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) help for road repairs.
“I’m betting there’s 400 miles worth of gravel roads to the point where we’re going to be hauling rock, blading rock,” he said. “If we don’t get the presidential (declaration) we’re just going to have to absorb it and move forward. We’ll get the roads back (into shape) — it’s just nice having FEMA, even though the red tape is sometimes a nightmare.”
Rolando said another problem is that because it is early in the growing season, a lot of last year’s cornstalks left in the field by no-till farming washed into the ditches and clogged culverts.
He said the county secondary road department will clear out the stalks to unplug culverts, but unless they are causing a hazard or potential road damage the county won’t clean the ditches.
“We’ve got to look at each situation,” he said.
Also at the meeting Tuesday morning, the Board of Supervisors approved a county disaster proclamation. It says the county has suffered “tremendous damage due to high winds, heavy rains and flash flooding” beginning June 7, and that it is seeking funding resources and services from outside its jurisdiction.
In other action, the board:
- Approved an agreement with Prochaska & Associates of Omaha, Nebraska, to provide architectural services for the law enforcement center and courthouse updates that were approved by voters May 1. The 38-page agreement calls for a payment of 10 percent of the hard costs of the project, which are estimated to be about $10.9 million, so the payment will be about $1 million, plus additional fees as stipulated in the agreement.
- Tabled action on funding a countywide housing needs assessment through the Charles City Area Development Corp. until that group decides on a provider for the study. The study will likely be funded by up to $33,000 that the supervisors previously transferred from a no-longer-used housing infrastructure fund into the general fund.
- Tabled until the next regular meeting on June 26 discussion on employee and public parking around the courthouse, to give the public time to contact county supervisors with input.
- Tabled action on an agreement with the Floyd County Sheriff’s Association so that negotiations could continue.
- Approved a change to the county employee wellness policy to give employees up to $150 per year as reimbursement for wellness activities or expenses including vision care, instead of the current policy of $200 every two years toward vision care and $50 per year toward wellness.