In an effort taken by the Clarke County Board of Supervisors to lower debt and reduce funds required to run the county, duties for road and bridge maintenance throughout Clarke County have seen a change. With these updates as well as capital investments made based on these decisions, The Board sees considerable financial benefit for Clarke County in the future.
As of July 1, 2014, Clarke County took possession of Highway 152 from the State of Iowa in return for $2.5 million. Originally the $2.5 million would have gone to the State to maintain the highway. By returning the duties and responsibilities to The County, the surplus enabled additional planning and budget flexibility.
“It was an opportunity we could not pass on,” said supervisor Marvin McCann. “The decision was made to save $1 million back for maintenance and repair of Highway 152 now and into the future.”
The remaining $1.5 million will be utilized to fund critical projects as well as buy much needed equipment that will allow the County to maintain and improve its roads, bridges, culverts as well as much needed tree removal along those roadways.
Take a look at video of some of the work being done and the new equipment being used for road and bridge repair throughout Osceola and Clarke County, Iowa
The equipment purchased by The County allows “in-house” repair and maintenance for those structures not falling under Federal Guidelines. Other equipment allows the County to remove trees and brush along the roadways improving the safety and upkeep of those roadways.
In the past, bridge replacements, repair, and brush removal had been contracted out. Being able to manage those updates through The County will not only save the Clarke large sums of money but will be able to be executed in a timely and safe manner.
“With 200 bridges, 3,400 crossroad culverts, 12,000 driveway and field way culverts, and over 700 roadway miles, it’s a challenge to maintain it all,” Supervisor Larry Keller said, “Some bridges had been closed for two or three years. Now, our own county workers are replacing them. With that, and using equipment purchased by The County, costs have been cut in half based on what contracting it out would have been.”
Saving time and money isn’t the only benefit. “We want to improve our infrastructure. If a bridge is closed, it affects school buses, mail carriers, emergency services and the County residents getting to their destination,” said Keller
As the County Supervisors look further into options for providing services to the public, solutions such as fiber optic systems for the courthouse and additional cost saving ideas like the LED bulbs throughout, present great opportunities for savings and better service to Clarke residents. For more information on what’s next, the Board of Supervisors encourages the community to attend their morning meetings at the Clarke County Courthouse every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
For more on the Clarke County Supervisors, contact Marvin McCann, Chairman, Clarke County Supervisors, 100 S. Main Street, Osceola, IA 50213, Phone: 641-342-3641, email: [email protected], web: www.ClarkeCountyIa.com