Thursday, December 18, 2014
   
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City Repairs Water Mains

A water main broke in the northwest portion of town.  Gayle Sitzman, water department superintendent explains the region in question.

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Sitzman says the water won't be turned off until about 1:30 this afternoon, and he hopes water service can be restored to the area by late afternoon.  The other area of town which will see some water interruption is along 918 12th St.  Sitzman says a new sewer line is being installed.  He says the water will be off today and perhaps again Wednesday or Thursday.  Sitzman talks about the area that is being affected.

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(LeMars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will gather for their regular weekly meeting tomorrow.  The supervisors will hear the quarterly report from the Jolynn Goodchild, the County Recorder, as well as they will review the county insurance policy.

(LeMars) -- Floyd Valley Hospital Board of Trustees are scheduled to meet Tuesday evening.  They will review the quarterly reports, as well as the hospital's marketing plan.

(LeMars) -- With 460 concrete or steel bridges, 120 wooden bridges, 365 miles of paved roads, 1025 miles of gravel roads, and 40 miles of dirt roads, you can easily see how it would be a challenge for the Plymouth County Secondary Roads Department to keep up with the constant repairs. 

Add to the problem that highway repair budgets are shrinking and repair expenses are on the increase, and you begin to realize why some road repairs are put off for a year or two.  Tom Rohe, serves as the Plymouth County Engineer.  He says the summer construction projects are all nearing completion. In general, Plymouth County roads are in good condition, but Rohe says he does struggle with the never-ending maintenance schedule and higher costs.  

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The county engineer says up through the 1990's, the county's budget allowed his crew to keep up with the needed repairs.  However, he says in 2005 was when financial conditions changed, and it changed the way road repairs were given priority.

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Rohe says it costs the county about one million dollars for every mile of pavement for a complete new construction. For pavement overlays, such as is the case on C-38, it is about $300,000 per mile, and the county spends about $3,000 per running foot on bridge repairs.  So a new bridge that spans more than 20 feet, would cost more than $60,000.  Asphalt overlays run the county about $250,000 per mile, and gravel can costs up to $2000 per mile.  Rohe says concrete road repairs are now designed to last at least 30 to 40 years.
He says in recent years Plymouth County roads and bridges have seen a substanial increase in the number and weight of truck and farm traffic, He says there are a great number of bridges that were first constructed in the 1960's that are unable to support the weight and the width of today's farm equipment, particularly the new combine harvesters.

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The Engineer expects to see an increase of fuel taxes in the coming future, just so road repairs will be able to be financed.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is joining business and labor leaders in pushing for approval of President Obama's stimulus plan he says would add thousands of jobs in Iowa.  He says Iowa would get $500 million from the plan, which would allow bridges to be repaired in a state where studies show one in five bridges are structurally deficient.

Vilsack says Iowa's bridges are ranked third worst in the country.  Vilsack is joining other top administration officials fanning across the country in key states to tout the president's agenda.  Vilsack says the need for fixing infrastructure is severe and the country can't afford to wait until after next year's election to makes repairs.

 

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad says his office is creating a Web page where Iowans can track open records requests made to his office.  Branstad says the Web page will include details of open record requests, the date they were was made, what documents were requested and what documents were provided.  The governor says the move is an unprecedented expansion of the transparency of the governor's office. He spoke Monday during his weekly news conference and was joined by former director of the Iowa Newspaper Association Bill Monroe, who advises the governor on transparency issues.  Both Branstad and Monroe say the governor will push for new enforcement authority in the state's open records laws during the next legislative session. Lawmakers considered a similar measure last session but it wasn't approved.

 

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Thirty-two people protesting against corporate greed have been arrested for trespassing at the state Capitol in Des Moines.  The Occupy Iowa protesters were arrested late Sunday night after they refused to leave the Capitol grounds after 11 p.m.

Officials with the Iowa Department of Public Safety say those arrested include 30 adults and two juveniles who were taken into custody and charged with trespassing because the Capitol grounds close at 11 p.m.  Officers used pepper spray on one protester.  Protester David Goodner says many of those who were arrested suffered bumps and bruises during the arrests. He says the group will meet at 6 p.m. Monday to determine its next step.  Similar protests were held elsewhere in Iowa, including one in which protesters camped out at an Iowa City park.

 

 

 

 

 

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