The Hamilton County board of supervisors has agreed to a contract to begin looking at building a new bridge south of the existing Beaver Bridge location.
At their regular session on Tuesday morning, the board agreed to a consulting engineering contract with Calhoun-Burns and Associates to develop preliminary engineering work. Chairperson Doug Bailey said the contract is just the very beginning of looking at a new bridge. The location and feasibility of the Boone River location has yet to be determined. He said Calhoun-Burns has worked with the county often to build and inspect bridges.
In conjunction with the potential of a new bridge, Bailey said a public meeting will be held on Dec. 18 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the multipurpose room of the Hamilton County Courthouse. The meeting will be informal with members of the public welcome to come and go between those times to find out more about the possibility of the new bridge. Bailey welcomes questions and comments to discuss the plan and what might happen if they don't build it.
"We have two bridges that are failing and are down to three-month inspections," Bailey said. "We're at the serious stage here."
The Beaver Bridge was built in 1902.
As the year nears its end, Bailey said there are various appointments to make for various committees in the county. Openings will be available on the MIDAS board, Upper Des Moines, Hamilton County Conservation, Webster City Zoning Board of Adjustment and Webster City Airport Zoning Board of Adjustment.
Bailey said those interested in those positions should contact the board of supervisors. He said some of those boards meet regularly and others meet as needed.
In other business, the board approved the year-end cleanup of outstanding warrants. The approved resolution cancelled the warrants over one year old to several funds as is stated in the state code.
Warrants cancelled included 55 cents to Kristin U. Weiss, $30 to Denise Gramblin-Humlicek, $56.74 to Scott Grimm, $95.27 to Hy-Vee Pharmacy, $21.85 to The Clip Store.com, $18.68 to Iowa Labor Law Poster Service, $93.50 to the City of Blairsburg, $189.07 to Iowa Labor Law Poster Service in another fund, and $450.64 to Diamond Oil Company.
Hamilton County Public Health Director Shelby Kroona was in attendance and discussed a project with several nearby counties set to begin on Jan. 1. The Primary Care Association is funding a case management approach for people with multiple medical diagnoses who have repeat hospitalizations or who use the emergency room as their primary care physician.
Rather than using the emergency room as their main source of care, what Kroona called an inappropriate use of the service, those referred to the health department will be given access to community services, public health nurses and possibly homecare aids to reduce that use of the emergency room as well as hospital readmissions. Kroona said the grant works on a two year cycle and awarded $300,000 to the six counties including Hamilton County that were selected.