Humboldt sups accept drainage project


DAKOTA CITY – The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors accepted the completion of a repair in Drainage District 114 Monday.

The project has been held up for four years over disagreement of who should pay for the work.

Members of the board, along with drainage engineer Rick Hopper, felt because the repair was on railroad right of way the Union Pacific Railroad should be responsible for the cost – which the railroad disputed.

While UP has responded to the county’s request, “they haven’t agreed to anything,” Hopper said.

In 2012, Calhoun County won a similar case against the Chicago and Central Pacific Railroad Co. before the Iowa Supreme Court.

The supervisors and Hopper hope as a result of that ruling Union Pacific will be more willing to pay.

“We are hoping the court case outcome means they will pay,” Hopper said.

The project contractor, Vaughn De Loss of Spencer, had an original bid of $34,800 – but the total construction cost was $75,000 because additional work was needed, Hopper said.

With engineering costs, the total is estimated to be around $100,000.

“Of the $75,000, I estimated about $68,000 of it is railroad,” Hopper said. He believes UP should be responsible for a majority of the engineering costs as well.

The repair was needed to alleviate flooding in the area, including part of Livermore. Some landowners were desperate for something to be done, Hopper said.

The board accepted the completion of the project and released the retainage fee to the contractor. It will bill UP and wait for a formal response.