HJ - Standard Page County Courthouse

Page County officials and some certain county residents may be doing some math on a possible road improvement project.

Supervisor Jon Herzberg suggested Jan. 28 a cost-share program between the county and the residents along a portion of 250th Street who would like to have the road returned to pavement.

Supervisor Alan Armstrong asked County Engineer J.D. King to create a cost estimate to pave about a mile-and-a-half. King speculated up to $200,000. King should have a more accurate number in a couple of weeks.

Last November, Mitch Holmes was one of several residents who live along the portion of 250th Street upset the county converted the section of road from paved to gravel. Because of the road’s deteriorating condition, King and county officials said it was easier and cheaper to convert it to gravel. The section of 250th intersects with U.S. Highway 71 south of Clarinda.

At the Page County Board of Supervisors Jan. 28 meeting, Holmes told the board the road’s condition which included how road rock gets thrown by traffic. He also said there hasn’t been a snow plow since the recent snows, but noticed Page Center Road was cleared.

Engineer J.D. King said snow must meet a certain depth before putting a snowplow on gravel. If it’s less, it’s likely the blade will remove too much rock from the road.

“I won’t live on gravel,” Holmes said. “We don’t want to sell our house, but if I have to, I will.”

The section of 250th was one of three specific locations the county switched from pavement to gravel. Other segments include F Avenue, known as M44, from 270th to Northboro. A third location is Montgomery-Page Street from U.S. Highway 71 to Willow, then two miles south on Willow.

In other county news…

While still researching the 2021 fiscal year budget, supervisors and King discussed King’s proposal to purchase two road graders between two different fiscal years. Additionally, the county needs to budget for multiple weir projects throughout the county. Weirs are barriers in river streams used to contain a river’s flow.

Knowing the significant use of the county’s road grader fleet, King suggested two graders. One would be purchased in fiscal year 2020, which ends June 30, and the second one in fiscal year 2021.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars are estimated to be needed for the weirs but county officials say federal government funding could assist with the cost. The unknown is the amount and availability of the federal government money.

Although no formal action was taken, supervisors and King agreed to purchase one road grader in fiscal year 2020 and consider the second grader after weir costs and funding have been confirmed.

Supervisors approved a tax abatement for the city of Shenandoah for property at 900 S. Center in Shenandoah.

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