The bridge south of Jefferson on the Raccoon River Valley Trail has been out of commission since March 2019, after huge ice chunks battered the pilings. DRONE PHOTO BY SEAN SEBOURN

Bike trail bridge work pushed to November


For The Jefferson Herald

The expected completion date for repair work on the Raccoon River Valley Trail bridge south of Jefferson has been extended to Nov. 30 from its original date of July 31.

Greene County Conservation Director Dan Towers told the county board of supervisors Monday that while there is considerable interest among potential bridge repair contractors, they are reluctant to submit bids for a July completion date.

Contractors currently have other jobs already underway or in process of other bids, Towers said. Extending the date later to November is expected to attract several bidders.

On a related matter, the supervisors approved Towers’ request for a letter of support for the conservation board’s application for bridge repair funds from the Grow Greene County Gaming Corp. The county needs to provide 15 percent of the bridge repair cost to match federal funding of 85 percent of the cost.

The county’s share is about $130,000.

In other action, the board approved the annual amendment to the county’s current fiscal year budget. The amendment resulted in a net reduction to the budget of $895,315. A public hearing on the amendment preceded the vote, with no comments.

The board approved the hiring of Avis Keasey as a full-time driver’s license clerk in the county treasurer’s office at an initial salary of $40,000 per year effective Feb. 1, with a raise of $2,000 on Aug. 1 upon a six-month positive review.

The board heard two proposals for funding for the 2021-22 fiscal year.

Betsy Stursma and Patti Treibel reviewed the proposed county mental health budget. Expenditures for the county’s local office and distribution to the region’s fiscal agent are estimated about $134,500 for 2021-22.

Subject to approval by the regional organization, the tax levy rate for that budget would drop to $14.75 per $1,000 valuation, well below the current year’s rate of $31.67, in order to reduce the region’s expected fund balance to within the state’s limit. The mental health levy rate is expected to rise back up during the budget process for fiscal year 2022-23 due to state requirements. 

The other agency funding request for 2021-22 was made by Ellen Ritter for the county’s general assistance budget. Total expenses for that department are estimated to resemble this year’s level at about $23,000.

During the meeting, the board adjourned into drainage district mode for a public hearing on Drainage District 187 annexation and classification. No comments were received in the hearing.

The county’s drainage engineering consultants presented the annexation and classification materials to the board, which approved both actions.

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