Sups prepare for Enduro

Enduro riders on dirt bikes will be able to use portions of the county roads for the annual Dayton Enduro Aug. 10.

The Webster County Board of Supervisors approved a permit to temporarily close and use about 8 miles of roads southeast of Lehigh at its regular meeting Monday. The supervisors also approved a more safety-conscious road striping method for County Road D43, received the annual certification of taxes and approved repair of a dump truck in the roads department.

They also recognized the Webster County Jail for a good report on its annual inspection.

The Central Iowa Enduro Riders have put on the Dayton Enduro since 1981, said Dale Iles, president of the Iowa Enduro Riders Association.

The ride will primarily be through the woods on several private properties. Riders will cross the public roads at several intersections and will use Union Avenue for about a mile.

Iles also works for the roads division of the Webster County Engineer’s office, and said he will handle road closings himself. There will be people to control traffic at every intersection, he said.

The goal is to reach each checkpoint in a prescribed time, he said. Riders who come in late are given penalty points, but riders who come in early are given twice as many penalty points.

“This keeps them from cheating in the woods, and also keeps them from racing on the roads,” Iles said. “If you’re picturing us racing down the road, no. Twelve miles per hour is our speed limit.”

The ride’s insurance will cover all the landowners, as well as the county in the event of an accident on their property, Iles said.

County jail recognized for inspection

The board recognized the Sheriff’s Department and the jail staff for passing the annual jail inspection.

“They received not only passing grades, but recognition for a well-run facility,” Supervisor Clark Fletcher said.

The inspection report said the jail was “Clean, well-maintained and well-managed. The documentation was complete and ready for inspection.”

No deficiencies were found on a lengthy list of items, said jail Steve “Wally” Elifrits. The items range to security issues such as keeping staff present at all times, both male and female staff on duty, to issues of prisoner treatment and exercise time, to fire extinguisher and smoke detector checks, acceptable temperature and proper lighting in the building.

There are any number of major or minor things the inspectors can “ding” you for, Elifrits said – especially if Iowa code changes but jail policies do not.

“When I first took over, there were quite a few dings on there,” he said.

Elifrits has been administrator for 11 years. He said working ahead to always be prepared for an inspection is key.

“It’s just the same old process; you keep up on the policies,” he said. “If you don’t get behind, it’s easy to keep up.”

Roads and engineering

The county will now use a milled-in center line and edge line on the recent road resurfacing project between Callender and U.S. Highway 169.

The conventional method was to simply paint the surface, said Webster County Engineer Randy Will. This new method will cut a small way below the surface; it is intended to be more durable because it is less exposed to wear.

“The current highway transportation bill emphasizes safety, and they’ve provided more funding for that purpose. We became aware we could apply for this funding after the project was let,” Will said.

The project will not cost the county anything, he said. About 90 percent of the estimated $40,000 cost will be paid by federal funds, and 10 percent from state funding.

The engineering department will also put a new service body, including a crane, on a chassis that was once a dump truck, for a cost of about $40,000.

The 2003 International single-axle dump truck’s chassis is in good condition, but the dump bed is badly rusted, Will said. With its service body it will replace a 1990 Ford F350.

Tax certificates

The supervisors received and filed the certification of taxes collectible for the year 2013, which will be collected in 2014-2015.

The total amount of consolidated taxes is $50,837,937.31. This is a slight increase from last year’s $50,601,097.96.

The net amount is about $47,976,000 after deducting the homestead, ag land, family farm and business property tax credits. The BPT credit is new this year.

Last year’s net amount was about $48,330,000.

Other business

Supervisor Merrill Leffler said the alley around the Law Enforcement Center will remain open during construction along First Avenue South. The construction is part of the crosstown connector project and will likely keep the road in front of the LEC closed off until October.

A public hearing was set for 10:30 a.m. Aug. 12 to consider rezoning land near Burnside to allow Mike Halligan to build a house.