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CCRC tables decision on county request for financial assistance

Published: Friday, July 12, 2013 3:24 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 2:02 p.m. CDT

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Clarke County Reservoir Commission (CCRC) board members want to work with Clarke County Supervisors on future projects, but financially, now is not the right time.

Thomas Andersen, Clarke County engineer, attended a July 11 CCRC meeting to request approximately $15,000 in financial assistance for professional structural design services that would perform preliminary and final designs to replace a county bridge.

The sediment retention structure would help protect a proposed CCRC lake project.

“This road will remain closed unless we can get some help from some source,” Andersen said. “This is a benefit to the reservoir. It will hold back a large amount of water, keep a lot of sediment out of it. It’s a perfect project for the county and the reservoir commission, in our opinion.”

Andersen added, the structure isn’t going to go toward benefitting a hog confinement. There had been public speculation about that.

“But, it will help the reservoir that will help the whole county, in my opinion,” Andersen said.

Lake project

An ongoing CCRC watershed project will provide a water supply for Osceola and Southern Iowa Rural Water Association (SIRWA) with an 816-acre lake in Clarke County.

The reservoir project could provide 2.2 million gallons of water per day. The total project cost for the reservoir is estimated at $37.6 million. Funding for the project includes many sources, especially funding from local option sales taxes (LOST).

Right now, CCRC is going through the process of declaratory judgment with the watershed project.

Declaratory judgment is a court review for acquiring land for a public project. It authorizes CCRC to purchase land from voluntary sellers and exercise eminent domain for involuntary sellers within the area of the watershed project.

A declaratory-judgment decision could be made by Dec. 24 about acquiring land for the project.

Funds

CCRC board member Dan McIntosh said CCRC funds are from taxpayer money, and that money is for building the lake.

“I think we need to go through that process before we spend money on anything else,” McIntosh said. “I understand it’s a great project, but if for some reason the lake doesn’t get built, we’ve put some money out here that we had no right to put out. My feeling is, we shouldn’t be doing anything until we get through this declaratory judgment (and) we know the lake’s going to be built.”

Mayor Fred Diehl, a CCRC board member, said McIntosh had a valid point.

“We’ve got to get through this declaratory judgment, and if we don’t, it’s all down the tubes,” Diehl said.

Many board members said it was important to work together with the county.

However, CCRC board member Sandy Kale said the timing on the request was “just not really good.”

A motion was made to table the decision until the first of the year, which is January 2014. The board approved the motion.

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