Contract awarded for drainage project
The Hamilton County Board of Supervisors awarded the contract for work on Drainage District 71, with a bid coming in at 65 percent of the engineer’s estimate.
“Over 2 ½ years ago with the floods of 2019, this project started with a FEMA report and an ensuing engineer’s report. Originally, the project was estimated to be close to $2.5 million,” said Supervisor Rick Young. “Over the past several months, we’ve whittled it down to try to get it to be more reasonable without defraying any of the things that needed to be done.”
Young said the final engineer’s estimate was $1.2 million. The lowest bid, he said, came in at 65 percent of the engineer’s estimate.
“That just indicates how much some of these contractors want to get out into the county and do some business,” he said.
The winning bid came from CJ Moyna and Sons Construction of Elkader for $818,018,
Young said they expect the assessment to landowners in the drainage district to be at about 25 percent of what the initial assessment was expected to be.
In answering a question from a woman in the audience, Young said that repairs to the drainage ditches would be done at a 1 to 1 minimum grade with a 45 degree angle on the ditches.
“That far exceeds what (the ditches) are today,” he added.
Young said the drainage district would be responsible for removing trees from the ditches. The county has a program to spray annually through all the open ditches in the county.
“We have a three-year rotation on that,” Chairman Dan Campidilli said. “It’s been very effective. You’re going to have spots here and there where you’ll have to go back in and spray. But we’re trying to stay on top of that.”
Young said that the upcoming work should give the district a minimum of 20 years before there would be any need to go back and do maintenance.
Answering another question from the audience, Young explained that the drainage is owned by the people who gain advantage of its use.
“Most of these ditches are 110 years old. So it’s determined by who gains value from their water being carried away,” he said.
Work on the DD#71 is expected to begin in the spring of 2022.
In other business, the board approved a speed limit change for Briggs Woods Trail from Highway 17 to 250th Street.
The change came following a request from a deputy with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s office. A survey was completed by the Secondary Roads department which determined that the speed for the small section of roadway should be set at 35 miles per hour. Currently, the section of road is not signed with the speed limit which defaults to 55 mph.
“The problem is there’s not room to accelerate and decelerate and hold 55 mph between a 30 mph curve at the south end of the road, to 15 mph speed limit as you enter the parks,” said County Engineer Ryan Wiedemann. He said once approved, the proper signage would be placed along the road.