County lowers speed limits on gravel road in Highway 30/21 project area

Safety is concern to county

By Jim Magdefrau

VINTON – Stressing safety, the Benton County Board of Supervisors approved lowering the speed limit on gravel roads in the area of the Highway 30/21 construction project at their meeting on Tuesday, April 26, at the service center in Vinton.

The resolution sets the speed limit at 35 miles per hour on the impacted gravel roads near the project. Engineer Myron Parizek said the question is if a speed limit would be worthy of the project. Last year when work was done on the Blairstown bridge overlay, speed limits were set at 35 mph in the area.

Doug Kozik, who lives in the Highway 21/30 area, related that the DOT plans to put oil on the heavily traveled areas, plus more signs will be posted about the detour. He also talked about the traffic in the area, as well as how much weight the bridges can hold in that area. He stressed he had no problem with local traffic on these roads. Kozik closed that the speed limit resolution is wonderful.

The resolution states:

Resolution 22-32

WHEREAS: Characteristics of 72nd Street Drive from the intersection of Ia Hwy 21 east 1.5 miles to the intersection of 11th Avenue Drive and characteristics of 74th Street from the intersection of Ia Hwy 21 east 3 miles to the intersection of 13th Avenue and characteristics of 11th Avenue Drive from the intersection of 72nd Street Drive south 3.5 miles to the intersection of 76th Street warrants a temporary change of speed limit, and

WHEREAS: The traffic on these Benton County Secondary Roads have increased due to the temporary closure of Ia Hwy 21 intersection at US Hwy 30, and

WHEREAS: A speed limit on these secondary roads will greatly increase the safety for the traveling public.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Benton County Board of Supervisors that the temporary speed limit on these roads be set as follows:

“35 mph on 72nd Street Dr from Ia Hwy 21 east 1.5 miles to the intersection of 11th Avenue Dr and 35 mph on 74th Street from Ia Hwy 21 east 3 miles to the intersection of 13th Avenue and 35 mph on 11th Avenue Dr from 72nd Street Dr south 3.5 miles to the intersection of 76th Street,” and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that upon opening of interchange of Ia Hwy 21, the temporary speed limit be removed.

***

The resolution was approved unanimously on a motion by Richard Primmer, who added that safety is always a big concern. Primmer also said they will make sure the sheriff is aware of this.

Other business

The board approved a variance to the subdivision ordinance for Jerry Kennon, for land in Section 20, Benton Township.

A suspended tax list was approved for the Department of Human Services.

Lisa Staude, DECAT (Decategorization) Coordinator, met about a contract amendment. The amendment was approved. Benton County works with Iowa County on this. Programs include Flourishing Families Community Partnership for Protecting Children (CPPC), Benton County Coalition and Better Tomorrows ECI.

The cost advisory plan was approved for fiscal year 2021.

Kirsten Nelson, human resources, presented a memorandum of understanding with the sheriff’s department. It calls for a 10-percent raise. It was approved by the board.

Conservation

Benton County Conservation sought support for changing names on titles for conservation properties to the conservation board. Benton County Attorney David Thompson said he wasn’t sure if it was legal to do this. He listed the following code chapters.

Iowa Code 350.4

Iowa Code 331.361

The conservation board has the power to acquire property by gift, purchase lease or exchange. It does have the power to acquire in the name of the conservation board, Thompson explained. He added that when the county sells property there is a very specific procedure in the code. The board of supervisors has the power to sell property.

“I don’t know what a title change accomplishes here,” Thompson observed. If it were legal, he said he didn’t know what public benefit it would serve.

Shelby Williams, conservation director, said the conservation board has custody, control and management of the properties. Thompson answered it does not have ownership. They have the power to acquire land in the name of the county. He also added Benton County Conservation is not separate from Benton County Iowa.

Thompson said he’d by happy to work on a memo to let people know where they stand legally.

Board Chairman Tracy Seeman echoed that the supervisors are elected, while the conservation board is appointed. There are things the conservation board can do, but they can’t sell property. Primmer agreed that it is “Benton County” Conservation, and the land is owned by Benton County.

Engineer

The board accepted bids from letting IDOT project BROS-SWAP-C006(119)–SE-06 .

They approved a resolution allowing the county engineer to sign documents regarding project BROS-SWAP-C006(119)–SE-06. These are culvert projects. Winning bidder is Iowa Bridge and Culvert.

Meeting link

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