The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

July 2, 2014

Much-needed cemetery drainage plans abandoned

BLAKESBURG — The Blakesburg City Council on Monday had to abandon plans for a much-needed cemetery drainage project due to the added expense of a Department of Natural Resources required onsite archeologist.

Kent Rice, of French Reneker, explained the available $30,000 (erosion control grant plus money left over from recent sewer upgrade) would probably have covered the project if the town had taken responsibility for removing trees and seeding. However, the DNR requires an onsite archeologist through the duration of the project on the chance artifacts may be found and to locate and identify a possible burial site within the area.

The council approved applying the cemetery drainage funds to repair the road to the lagoon. That project will include runoff control to prevent water from washing over the road. Rice said the new project will probably qualify under the erosion control grant guidelines, and the DNR will likely inspect the new project site next week.

Storm damage was also on the agenda. The roof of every city-owned building was badly damaged during the Mother’s Day hail storm, said Mayor Jason Myers. The adjuster from the city’s insurance company quoted replacement cost of all roofs at $59,901, which the insurance will cover minus the deductible, he said. The city has two options: either have all of the roofs replaced or take the actual cash value allowing for depreciation, which is only $14,000, Myers explained. Council approved having all roofs replaced, costing the city only the deductible.

After lengthy discussion of need, placement and funding of working emergency sirens, the council approved beginning the grant application process for the $18,000 project.

In other business the council:

• Approved a Spoke Folk Bicycle Club request to place signage marking the route to Drakesville or Ottumwa from Blakesburg and watch for bicycles. The bicycle club is providing the signs.

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