Lundgren wind project moves forward

Management of noxious weeds in the county’s right of way will be a bit more efficient in the future.

Don Reffer, owner of B&W Control Specialists, proposed a new ditch rotation to the Webster County Board of Supervisors at its regular meeting Tuesday.

B&W handles brush and weed control in the county’s ditches. The current three-year rotation of ditches to be inspected is not efficient, Reffer said. It was created when the county was in bad shape, based on which ditches needed immediate attention.

Now that the county is in “maintenance mode,” he said, it would make more sense to divide the ditches up based on location, to save on travel times for workers.

The changes will take effect beginning next year.

The supervisors also approved an update to the county’s Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management Program documents. This was required by new regulations, said Conservation Operations Supervisor Cody Peterson.

The county has been part of IRVM since 1993. To remain eligble for yearly grants from the Iowa Department of Transportation, a more in-depth plan is now required, Peterson said.

IRVM is in charge of all the roadsides in the county, Peterson said. About 25 miles of them are planted in native prairie grasses and wildflowers.

Dump Trucks

The county will order two tandem axle dump trucks with snow equipment from O’Halloran International, of Fort Dodge.

O’Halloran agreed to honor the same price it gave the county in April 2013, when two similar trucks were purchased. Will said this was a good deal for Webster County.

“Normally in the equipment world, there’s a slight price increase,” he said.

Also, having the equipment provided and repaired locally provides savings for the county.

The total purchase will cost $381,146.

Lundgren Wind Project

Power lines will be temporarily buried or lowered to make room for large cranes coming in to work on the wind turbines going up in southern Webster County.

At eight locations, heavier-duty lines will be buried, then put back up when work is done, said County Engineer Randy Will. At nine locations, smaller lines will be de-energized and dropped to allow cranes to pass.

The board approved seven more directional bore electrical lines to wind turbines; these will be permenantly buried, Will said.

“There are going to be 68 locations, and so far we’ve approved maybe 1/3 of those after today’s meeting.” he said.

Wanzek Construction will also temporarily modify and widen the intersection at 300th Street and Madison Avenue to accomodate delivery of turbine parts, the 13th modification approved by the supervisors this month.

Other business

The board approved tax exemptions for wildlife land in the county.

Land that qualifies as open prairie, native prairie, forest cover, recreational lakes and ponds, and rivers and streams receive a tax-exempt status under the Slough Bill of 1982.

In Webster County, 396.25 acres have this status. The land must be re-approved by the supervisors every year.

The board also accepted the resignation of Adam Struve, correctional officer, and hiring of Home Health Registered Nurse Laccey Liska in the Public Health Department.