The Ottumwa Courier

July 26, 2013

Repair coming to destroyed county bridge

By CHELSEA DAVIS
Courier staff writer

---- — OTTUMWA — The county is one step closer to repairing a bridge destroyed in this spring's flooding.

The Wapello County Board of Supervisors will look at an engineering contract with Calhoun-Burns and Associates at its meeting Tuesday morning to repair a bridge on 180th Avenue that was washed away during flash flooding in May.

"Construction will start once we get this contract approved, assuming it's approved, and it will start next summer," said supervisor Greg Kenning. "Portions of the land that connects that bridge were washed out."

The traffic count on the bridge was 91 vehicles per day before it was destroyed, he said, a pretty significant amount for the rural area.

"But if you look at it, you wonder why, because there was certain quick access to hard-surface roads from it, so I don't think anybody is in too dire straits with the detour," he said.

The board will also discuss tax abatement for the property at 117 and 119 E. Main St., where taxes had accumulated to around $1,700.

"The city paid that back to us in an understanding that we would abate the taxes so the new owner could start renovating the property and not have that tax bill looming," he said. "For as long as I can remember, it's been a derelict building."

The board will also consider a transfer of $200,000 from the bridges and culverts fund to the law center's maintenance fund.

"There was an emergency sometime back ... when we had to borrow money from the law center maintenance fund to the tune of about $400,000 to pay for something, and so this is a partial payback going the other direction," he said. "Eventually we'll transfer the remaining $200,000 so everything is all square."

The board of supervisors will meet at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in the boardroom on the courthouse's third floor.