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Supervisors to attempt mediation over drainage issues

Supervisors to attempt mediation over drainage issues

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Louisa County Courthouse

Louisa County Courthouse on July 13, 2017. Zoning administrator Brian Thye said a utility company was seeking to establish a subdivision southwest of Columbus Junction.

WAPELLO — Louisa County supervisors are tiring of receiving calls from local property owners upset over drainage issues in the south end of Wapello, so they agreed during their regular weekly meeting on Tuesday to attempt a mediation of the issue.

Supervisors Brad Quigley, Randy Griffin and Chris Ball all reported receiving calls over the continuing problems in the area. However, they later agreed during a discussion with county engineer Adam Shutt the problems needed to be handled by Wapello city and drainage District 12 officials.

According to previous and the more recent discussions, property owners along a small drainage ditch that runs through Wapello’s Patrick Subdivision have suggested beaver activity as a cause for water problems on their property.

During Tuesday’s meeting, officials also pointed to a culvert that runs under Locust Street as another contributing factor because of its elevation.

“I agree there is not enough fall,” Shutt said.

However, since Locust Street is under city jurisdiction and the drainage district is responsible for the drainage in the area, he said the county could not take any action.

The supervisors agreed, but said they would still try and resolve the situation by trying to arrange a meeting between the drainage district trustees and Wapello officials, possibly along with the supervisors.

“I will talk with (Wapello Mayor) Shawn Maine tomorrow,” Griffin told the board and other officials indicated they would talk with the trustees.

Shutt said a solution was possible, but it likely would take the cooperation of both groups to implement it.

“We all have the people we need to talk to to see if we can get some resolution,” Griffin said.

Another issue the supervisors said needs to be resolved is cutting down on the semi-truck traffic going through Grandview, despite a weight embargo on the city’s streets. Officials said local resident Brenda McAvoy had contacted them about the trucks, which apparently are not taking a bypass around the community because it is gravel.

In addition to reported damage to private property from the truck traffic, the supervisors said city officials had also reported street damage from the trucks’ weight.

Shutt said he needed to review state laws to determine what restrictions can be placed on city streets that receive Farm to Market funding, but agreed additional signage or other warnings could be made.

The supervisors indicated motor vehicle enforcement officers might be needed to run weight checks on trucks using the city streets instead of the bypass. Ultimately however, the supervisors agreed the final solution would be to hard surface the bypass.

They agreed that should have been done when the bypass was completed as part of the U.S. Highway 61 relocation in the Grandview area. Since that did not happen however, that project might need to become a greater priority for the county.

A local county resident may also use signs to advise passersby that he is not responsible for the condition of cattle on a neighboring property. Paul Gustison, rural Wapello, indicated the cattle belong to Robert Hawk, but he was concerned people would think he was the owner.

Gustison had attended the meeting to discuss a proposed vacation of county property in Toolesboro. That vacation was approved following a public hearing, of which Gustison was the only resident to attend.


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