By Jim Magdefrau
VINTON – Changes in traffic created by construction on US 30 in Benton County were explained by Benton County Engineer Myron Parizek at the Benton County Board of Supervisors meeting in Vinton on Tuesday, April 5, 2022.
Parizek has learned the Luzerne 16th Ave. intersection with Highway 30 and the 19th Ave. intersection are closed. Significant dirt needs to be brought in for both of these intersections. They are concentrating on the west end of the project, just west of 16th Ave. to the bridge over Prairie Creek. They are working to get that section ready for the paving contractors. Once that is done they’ll get 16th Ave. open. Then they will work on 21st Ave., which is the Van Horne/Blairstown intersection. Thru traffic at the intersection will probably be shut off for the duration of the project. Drivers can still drive on Highway 30. They just won’t be able to make a north or south turn off of Highway 30.
They want to get the south lane of the project built and paved before winter time. Traffic will be moved to the new pavement as the old Highway 30 is torn out. Then they’ll start working on the north half of the four-lane road.
Parizek explained that 21st and 19th Ave. can’t be closed at the same time.
Supervisor Gary Bierschenk was concerned how people will get north and south due to the number of dirt roads along Highway 30, while pointing to a map of Benton County.
Supervisor Chairman Tracy Seeman told Bierschenk, “You’ve got to remember, Gary, Myron ain’t got anything to do with that. This is the State of Iowa.”
Bierschenk replied, “I know. There ain’t going to be many people coming to Vinton to get groceries, I’ll tell you.”
Parizek said the Iowa Department of Transportation put signage up in and around Luzerne.
They also talked about the DOT getting signage about speed limits for the detour on old Highway 131. It has a speed limit of 50 mph., as well as more gravel for the road straight south of Highway 218 due to heavy traffic. There was also a question about starting the widening of the Blairstown road and complications coming with the location of a Pioneer Cemetery by the road.
The board also approved the MC-70 dust control price for 2022. The deadline is May 6 for permits. The cost is $1,450 for the first 400 feet, and $2.35 for each additional foot.
A Class C Liquor License was approved for Bloomsbury Farms Inc.
Reading dates were set for adopting ordinance 77 and amending ordinance 76 on county precincts. The hearing dates are April 12 and April 19 at 9:30 a.m. They plan to waive the third reading.
Emily Parker of Riverview Center presented a proclamation on Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Officials explained how the program provides services in Benton County. The board approved the proclamation.
Help was asked for the Meals on Wheels program in Urbana, due to rising fuel costs. The board suggested checking with the HACAP program, and how programs are run in the Belle Plaine and Vinton areas.
A land use hearing was held for Ronald and Tamara Wagner for a land use change in Section 23, Eden Township. They plan to build a home on an old building site. The land is not in production. The land use change was approved. The land use policy encourages old building sites to be redeveloped rather than using good farm land, Land Use Administrator Marc Greenlee explained.
A variance to the subdivision ordinance was approved for Casey Bowman, Parcel A, Section 1, Florence Township. He plans to divide this property and build on one of the parcels. The variance was approved, and Bowen plans to submit a land use change request for the house.
Requests were explained to be included in the upcoming budget amendment from the conservation, human resources and treasurer offices. An amendment hearing will be planned later.
Lexa Speidel met with the board on flower pots for the courthouse lawn. The offices have done this on their own for the past five years. Supervisor Chairman Tracy Seeman said he’d personally donate to this and to keep the program going as it has been going with donations. Supervisors Richard Primmer and Gary Bierschenk said they’d also donate.
County Attorney David Thompson presented information on a proposed loan for the Benton County Fair Board for the fairground’s grandstand. The loan is $120,000 over five years, with $60,000 forgivable. There is also no penalty for missing a payment or a late payment. There is also no minimum payment. The board recommended the proposed loan be sent to the fair board’s attorney. No action was taken.
Seeman gave an update on communication towers.