December 09, 2021

County moving forward with unpaved roads changes

A first reading to repeal and amend part of an ordinance related to unpaved roads in Jasper County took place Tuesday at the Jasper County Board of Supervisors meeting. The ordinances to establish Jasper County’s policy for the construction and reconstruction of roads, bridges and other roadways has been a hotly debated topic for the board this year.

The level of service will be based on traffic counts, pavement type, roadway geometric and other data used in accepted engineering design for the county engineer, the Iowa Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration. The policy will set the minimum design standards the county will follow for the construction and reconstruction of roads and bridges.

Should a roadway or bridge in question not be able to meet the standard, the ordinance states “the county engineer, in his or her professional judgment, a deviation from the standards is warranted.” Any deviations must be documented as unreasonable and/or impossible to implement by the engineer and/or board of supervisors.

For unpaved roads, new construction of granular surfaced roads will have a 28-foot finished top. Reconstruction of granular surfaced roads will have a 28 foot finished top and a 26-foot minimum may be used when terrain, right of way or sufficient drainage deems it necessary. Roads with an existing width of less than 28 feet will have a minimum finished top of that pre-existing width if unable to be widened.

There will be two additional public hearings on Sept. 12 and Sept. 29 before the ordinance is adopted.

A public hearing was also held to add three roadways to the Level “B” designation. A 1.02 mile section of North 99th Avenue East near the Poweshiek County line in Hickory Grove Township, .22 miles on West 92nd Street North in Independence Township and one mile on North 35th Avenue West in Sherman Township were approved to move forward with additional public hearings to change the designation.

Supervisor Doug Cupples asked if all those affected by the change in designation have been contacted and notified.

“We followed all of the required notifications,” assistant to the county engineer Pam Olson said.

In other business:

• A contract with MorphoTrak LiveScan Systems for the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office was approved for renewal at $2,736 per year.

• Kelly Yeggy and Brett Michael were appointed as mental health advocates for the Central Iowa Community Services Region.

• Chad Nichol was approved for hire as a secondary roads skilled laborer with a starting pay rate of $21.81 per hour starting Sept. 12.

• Brandon Talsma, Julie Rose, Jeremy Flores and Todd Schippers were appointed to the Jasper County Zoning Commission.

• Larry Ryan and Chris Herbold were appointed to the Jasper County Board of Adjustments.

Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or jpierson@newtondailynews.com