Tri States Public Radio Staff
Budget Hearing, Future Planning
Tue February 14, 2012
Lee County Roads Being Damaged
Lee County is looking into whether a construction project is damaging county roads.
Crews are working to raise the levee surrounding the Green Bay Drainage District.
Several residents told the Lee County Board of Supervisors, during this week’s meeting, that some gravel roads are being severely damaged by the heavy equipment needed for the project.
They say the contractor is using a shortcut instead of utilizing off-road opportunities.
County Engineer Ernie Steffensmeier says Lee County has been made aware that the contractor is driving a “super-sized” dump truck on county roads, which is improper.
“Normally when they are hauled around, they are hauled on ‘low-boys’ with enough axels so they are legal to be on the road,” says Steffensmeier.
He says his office has not issued a permit, related to oversized loads, for the levee project.
The county plans to contact the Iowa Department of Transportation to make its motor vehicle enforcement division aware of the situation.
The supervisors could also develop penalties for instances where a contractor does not obtain a permit before starting a project.
Lee County’s proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year is now available for public review and input.
The Board of Supervisors has set a public hearing and initial vote on the roughly $26-million spending plan for Tuesday, February 28.
That’s one week later than originally planned to allow for a change in the tax levy for mental health and other developmental disability services.
Lee County could have two new economic development tools by early July.
The Board of Supervisors has hired the Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission to develop a General Plan and an Urban Renewal Plan.
The proposed general plan will focus on economic development, transportation and housing while the urban renewal plan would allow for Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts.
Supervisor Gary Folluo says these plans would make up for the lack of an official comprehensive plan, which he says has handcuffed the county when it comes to incentive opportunities.
The Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission says the general plan will not evaluate or discuss zoning.
The organization says the process will require the creation of a local committee and the scheduling of three public input sessions.
The total cost to the county will be $8,000.