June 04, 2023

Reservoir commission awards contract for cultural and historic resource inventory

At the April 27 board meeting of the Clarke County Reservoir Commission (CCRC), the board approved awarding of the cultural and historic resource inventory to Tallgrass Archaeology, a cultural resource management firm based in Iowa City.

Cultural resources, as explained on NRCS’ website, are:

“Cultural Resources are evidence of past human activity. These include sites, districts, buildings, structures and objects significant in American history, architecture, archaeology, engineering and culture. Some examples are pioneer homes, buildings or old roads; bridges and other engineering structures...Cultural resources are nonrenewable and often yield unique information, sometimes over thousands of years, about past societies and environments and provide answers for modern day social and conservation problems.”

CCRC does not anticipate finding anything of historical significance at the building site for the reservoir.

Cultural resources study

CCRC project manager Dave Beck sent proposals for cultural resource work earlier this year but received no responses; Beck stated he sent the proposals to five different firms in Iowa who do that kind of work.

In March, Beck issued a revised proposal with an extended time frame that did receive replies and included contact with Tallgrass Archaeology. The firm expressed interest in doing the work, however, cautioned that they are a small firm and it is a large undertaking.

Originally, the commission had hoped to have the cultural resources work done by Oct. 1 of this year - Beck said the responses they received largley agreed it could not be done in that short of time.

“If we only work on this, it would take us more than a year to do it,” Beck relayed from Tallgrass Archaeology.

Beck added there will need to be a discussion with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) about the timeline of work completion, as it will push back being able to start the construction of the reservoir.

The cultural resource work is a required component of the reservoir project, and is outlined in Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.

Tallgrass Archaeology inquired about the commission’s willingness to entertain a separate proposal for the study of the historical and architectural component, and submitted a quote for the work. The reservoir commission approved the submitted quote, which was just over $19,400.

Next meeting

The next CCRC meeting will be June 22 at 9:30 in the Clarke County Development Board Room. Minutes from the April meeting are available in the legal section of this newspaper.

Candra Brooks

A native of rural Union County, Candra holds a Bachelor's Degree in English from Simpson College and an Associate's Degree in Accounting from SWCC. She has been at the Osceola newspaper since October 2013, working as office manager before transitioning to the newsroom in spring 2022.