The Ottumwa Courier

September 26, 2013

Rural roadwork delayed by other projects

Courier correspondent

---- — KEOSAUQUA — The contractor pouring a new blacktop overlay on J40 and V64 has informed the county engineer there will be a delay in the project because of the DOT closing Highway 16 west of the Douds turn-off.

The Norris Asphalt plant along Highway 16 is affected by the closure, which is expected to last until Oct. 8.

County Engineer David Barrett told Van Buren County Supervisors Monday that Norris would begin putting the blacktop on the roads beginning Oct. 9.

In other business:

• Barrett reported the work already done south of Lebanon has “unraveled” and come apart in one small section. He will work on a solution with the contractor.

• Tom Baker, Douds, was present to inquire about possible action on derelict property located in the flood plain in downtown Douds. Baker said the property is 14224 Highway 98.

“It hasn’t been touched since the flood of 1993. It has a $6,000 value for the lot, and the same person owns diagonally across the street. The lots are one block from a restaurant, grocery store, doctor’s office; it’s not in a rural area. It’s an eyesore to the county.”

A petition had been presented to the board a few weeks ago, and the county board of health is meeting with the county attorney on possible action. Supervisor Bob Waugh had met with Baker recently, “and it slipped my mind about the petition. I apologize. It’s my fault.”

• Barrett updated the board on various road projects including tree removal in Douds, box culvert on Timber Avenue, shop expansion, J40 asphalt overlay, Ridge Road SIDCA project, Bentonsport alleyand employee applications.

• A joint agreement for the erection, maintenance and operation of plants and systems for sanitary sewer services executed between Van Buren County and the Regional Utility Services System (RUSS) in the town of Mt. Sterling was approved with an effective date of approval by RUSS.

• Board members reported on various committee meetings held including Heartland Insurance Risk Pool Employment Practices seminar, human resources seminar, RUSS, Decat, Ahead Regional Housing Trust, Mental Health Regional Area, 8th Judicial District and SENECA Milestone.