By Kim Brooks, Express Editor
Two years ago, in September of 2011, Pam Carradus from Langworthy met with the Jones County Board of Supervisors to discuss the nuisance that is the Langworthy locker. Since then, nothing was done with the property.
At the recent Board of Supervisors meeting on Sept. 24, Carradus was back again, with the same complaint. She said there is a lot of “junk” housed inside the old meat locker, causing animals and wildlife to roam in and out of the building.
“What can be done?” questioned Carradus.
Supervisor Wayne Manternach said they’ve been in contact with ECICOG about a possible program to help clean the property up, but are running into some dead ends.
Michele Lubben, Land Use administrator, did some research into the property, with records left behind by the previous land use administrator, Dianna DeSotel. She said in the past, a civil citation was issued to the landowner, Jerry Zimmerman, after going to district court in early 2009.
Lubben said she also found demolition bids. But the process would involve asbestos removal. She said a demolition cost estimate was around $15,000.
“We need to put some pressure on someone to get something done,” voiced Supervisor Joe Cruise. “We need to get the ball rolling.”
The Board directed Lubben to talk with County Attorney Phil Parsons on starting the nuisance process over on the Langworthy locker property. Any costs associated would be assessed to the owner’s property taxes.
“We need to enforce it or our ordinances have no teeth,” said Supervisor Keith Dirks.
County Treasurer Amy Picray informed the Board that the property does have two outstanding tax sales on it at the present time.
County Engineer Derek Snead reported to the Board about a call his office received concerning 150th Avenue, a Level C road.
“We do have a few Level C roads in the county,” Snead said. He explained these are basically Level B roads that are gated off and only accessible by landowners. He said the county provides minimum maintenance on Level C roads.
“Typically, landowners take care of as much as possible,” he said.
The issues one of the landowners, Mike Hayen, raised concern the bridge on the north end of 150th Avenue, south of E-17, and the ditches. Hayen said the bridge is unsafe for farm equipment to cross, and the ditches are hard for grain carts to travel through, wanting to put in a gravel driveway for access into the field.
“We don’t do maintenance on structures like bridges unless the county feels it’s warranted,” explained Snead.
The Board said if the landowners feel they want to replace the structures themselves, it would have to be up to the county’s standards.
“We take into account traffic count when replacing bridges on Level C roads,” said Snead. “There’s generally not much traffic on these roads.”
Snead estimated the project could be a $100,000 project.
In other county business:
• The Board reappointed Rose Rohr and Joyce Fishwild to the Historic Preservation Commission. They will each serve another three-year term. There is still one vacancy left on the commission.
• Deb Schultz, County Community Services, handed out the final copy of the 28E agreement for the mental health region. She said some verbiage was changed from the last copy she gave the Board.
The Supervisors said they would take a week to review the 28E before approving it.
• Snead said they have been able to get rid of five out of 39 load limits on county bridges due to restructuring.