County Board Briefs

Road projects may warrant consultant
Commissioners and county engineering personnel talked in a workshop about the possibility of hiring a consultant for one of the major road improvement projects planned for next year. Implementation of the local option sales tax this year will make it possible to do two projects at once – most likely improvements to county roads 103/107and 101 – but the county does not have the personnel to staff them both at one time. Commissioners acknowledged that in order to do two big projects at once, the county would either need to hire more staff members or a consultant.

Ditch televising deemed too expensive
Environmental resources technician Dillon Hayes updated the board on efforts to gather a cost estimate for televised inspection of county ditch 14, which involves running a subsurface camera through the length of the ditch to assess its condition. Bids to analyze the 16,650 linear feet of drainage ditch ranged from $8,000 to $17,000 – more than anyone anticipated. The board discussed other options such as replacing all the ditch’s tiles, gradually repairing parts of the 100-year-old ditch and tiles that obviously need improvement, installing bigger tiles and possibly converting tile-drainage systems to open-ditch style drainage. Hayes was tasked with talking to the affected landowners to inform them that the requested televised ditch inspection would be cost prohibitive.

Sidewalks sought near Princeton schools
County Engineer Bruce Cochran explained to the board a letter of intent received from the Princeton School District that the district intends to apply for a $300,000 Safe Routes to School Grant that would install sidewalks around schools and new ball fields for a projected total cost of about $484,077. The county would act as a fiscal agent for the project. Commissioners asked questions about a 20 percent match the letter of intent states would be expected.