The Ottumwa Courier

October 22, 2013

Public hearing set for Rock Bluff Road project

Ottumwa Courier

---- — OTTUMWA — A year after another public hearing on the Rock Bluff Road grading and paving project, the Wapello County Board of Supervisors have set a new public hearing.

County Engineer Brian Moore told the board that the road from Chillicothe to Rock Bluff Park has been through a realignment process, as historic artifacts were found along the original road plan. The realignment moves the road away from this location but not outside what was originally proposed to the public.

"We need another public hearing to notify landowners and take public comments since their properties will be affected," Moore said. The meeting would be twofold, "to update and answer questions. We'll take public comments on how it will affect Rock Bluff Park and on relocation and potential eminent domain."

The public hearing will be held at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 12 in the third-floor boardroom/courtroom of the Wapello County Courthouse.

In other business:

• A contract with Microsurfacing Contractors, LLC., was approved for maintenance work and crack sealing on several county roads. The project includes the stretch of Highway 137 from Eddyville to Albia. Moore said the treatment will add five to 10 years of life to the roads' surfaces.

• The board approved the proposal to contract Paul Greufe for human resources consulting services but not without debate.

Supervisor Steve Siegel was the dissenting vote, citing controversy surrounding Greufe in other counties.

"I'm against him doing any work for the county," Siegel said. He referenced incidents where counties said Greufe had not done a thorough job, had terminated contracts before the work was completed and left a position without giving notice.

Supervisor Jerry Parker said that they were getting conflicting points of view, as many of the counties he spoke with were giving a different story. Auditor Kelly Spurgeon added that Cedar and Henry counties had both reported being "very satisfied," and other auditors were pleased with the work Greufe had done.

"He didn't break any rules. We're just asking him to review if what we're doing is correct and legal or not," Supervisor Greg Kenning said. "This is a short-term contract for something that we desperately need."

"I just don't think he's the person for the job," Siegel said, and added that there were other people who could do the job for less than the $2,500 fee Greufe was asking for.

The board approved the contract 2-1 with Siegel voting against it.