Webster Co. supervisors discuss pipeline plan

A lower speed limit has been set for the unincorporated area of Palm Grove, during the regular meeting of the Webster County Board of Supervisors Tuesday.

The supervisors also discussed the proposed oil pipeline that may cut through Webster County, and approved three bridge replacement projects.

Supervisor Merrill Leffler said the board has not yet heard anything officially about the pipeline.

“The public needs to be aware that the pipeline people have not come to our board for anything at this point,” Leffler said. “We’ve only received the same information the farmers have received.”

The proposed pipeline would cut diagonally across Iowa from northwest to southeast, crossing through Calhoun and Webster counties, and would be built by Energy Transfer Partners LP, of Dallas, Texas.

“Landowners are starting to receive letters and some agreements,” Supervisor Mark Campbell said. “Please take the time to look at those agreements and have an attorney look at them before you sign them. It’s very important you know what you’re signing.”

Crude oil pipeline construction in Iowa is regulated by a section of the Iowa Code that requires the company to hold informational meetings in each affected county at least 30 days before filing a petition seeking a permit.

Palm Grove Speed

Limit

A new speed limit of 35 miles per hour has been set on 320th Street east of U.S. Highway 169. The lowered limit area is about 1,550 feet long and goes though the collection of seven houses known as Palm Grove, said Webster County Engineer Randy Will.

Before, the speed limit was 55 mph, Will said.

He said he drove the stretch himself to investigate, and believed that the small length of lowered speed limit was appropriate. Similar limits are in place around Coalville, Kalo and Slifer, he said.

Grain Avenue

The board also approved a transfer of $293,638.12 from the General Basic Fund to the Secondary Road fund for construction work done about two years ago on Grain Avenue at the western edge of Iowa’s Crossroads of Global Innovation.

The road cost about $1.5 million in total, with $1.2 million coming from an Iowa Department of Transportation Revitalize Iowa’s Sound Economy grant.

RISE grants are available for projects which will bring new jobs, Supervisor Clark Fletcher said.

Grain Avenue was built as part of the agreement which brought CJ BioAmerica to the area, even though Grain only gives access to Cargill, not CJ. The previously constructed Harvest Avenue, which serves both CJ and Cargill, was not sufficient to handle the traffic for both plants, he said.

The county’s payment will eventually be reimbursed through tax increment financing, he said, which will not begin to come in for about another year and a half.

OHV Park

The supervisors approved a transfer of about $31,746 from the General Basic Fund to the Conservation Trust fund – the unspent balance of the Conservation Department’s 2014 budget. This will be used for the campground at the Gypsum City Off-Highway Vehicle park.

Supervisor Keith Dencklau said the park recently had guests out to ride on the nearly completed Phase II trails.

“There were people here from Des Moines, Omaha … They couldn’t believe what we had here,” Dencklau said. “They rode the first phase last year, and they thought it was just for beginners. The second phase, you have to be a pretty good rider to ride those. I actually fell off the cliff a couple times.”

The campground will be finished in about three months, he said.