COUNTY ENGINEER MIKE GARDNER, ASSISTANT COUNTY ENGINEER AL MILLER, MAINTENANCE SUPERVISOR KEVIN HACKATHORN, AND ROADSIDE VEGETATION MANAGER/WEED COMMISSIONER CHRIS HENZE: INFORMATIONAL MEETING FOR DUBUQUE STREET RECREATIONAL TRAIL TO BE CONSTRUCTED BETWEEN BUTLER BRIDGE AND WEST OVERLOOK ROAD NE (JOHNSON COUNTY PROJECT STP-E-52(41)--8V-52) HELD ON MAY 2, 2000; AND QUOTES RECEIVED FOR APPLICATION OF CALCIUM CHLORIDE TO ROADS IN THE PROGRAM
Stutsman: Discussion Regarding Informational Meeting for Dubuque Street Recreational Trail to be Reconstructed Between Butler Bridge and West Overlook Road. This meeting was held on May 2, 2000, Monday evening. We have Mike Gardner, County Engineer, Al Miller, Assistant Engineer, and Jinyeene, who is also Assistant Engineer, I think presented the proposal Monday night, at an informational meeting. Which has been a good move for the Secondary Roads Department to hold these public information meetings when these projects are being considered. The purpose is to present the proposal, answer questions, to consider any concerns that people might have concerning the project. So, Mike, with that introduction, do you want to just kind ofÖ
Stutsman: Iím sorry.
Gardner: We had aboutÖ
Stutsman: I directed your attention. It looked like you were talking to Al. Iím sorry to interrupt you.
Gardner: No, thatís fine.
Stutsman: All right.
Gardner: We had about 20-25 people show up at the meeting Tuesday evening. Carol Thompson was there so she can shed a little light on things if we miss something. Over all, I guess Iím going to turn this over to Al here in a second. But, overall, we had, I think there were 2 individuals at the meeting who voiced a very positive, yes go for it. There was one that said, no, Iím not interested in it no matter what. In between there, there were people that I justÖ The majority of the discussion focused on where weíre going to cross Dubuque Street with the trail, from the west side to the east side. I guess with that overview, then Iíll just turn it over to Al now and he can maybe go into a little more detail on what that focuses on and where weíre going from there with that.
Assistant County Engineer Al Miller: As Mike said, we discussed a number of issues at the meeting, a lot of them concerning individual property owners. But the main, I guess objection or discussion, concerned where we were going to cross Dubuque Street. Our intention is to run the bike trail on the west side of the road from Butler Bridge all the way up to West Overlook. Obviously weíre going to have to cross the road somewhere. We want to cross only once, whereas now, I think the bike trail crosses a number of times, which doesnít create a very safe situation. We did present the set of plans. The plans that you have show the same picture, but broken up into about 11 different pages. So, if youíre in orange, weíve got Dubuque Street, is actually outlined in orange. The bike trail is in a darker line, running up the west side of the road all the way up to West Overlook. Now, right here, obviously we ran out of room and we continue it down here. So, this is actually West Overlook Road, right here Stewart Road. Just to kind of get you coordinated this is High View Knoll here and this is River Products here. This would be Butler Bridge down here. So, the items in green are what we are going to attempt to get a temporary grading easement. We donít plan on buying any right-of-way for the project, but we do have some areas that weíd like to slope out. Some peopleís front yards, to get the trail in. The trail itself, this is a cross section of the actual trail itself. What weíve highlighted in red, weíre planning on a Portland Cement concrete trail, 6 inches thick. Now, all this is still preliminary. I mean, we just had our informational meeting. We don't have final plans done or anything. But, weíre planning on an 8-foot wide trail with 2-foot earth shoulders on either side of it and basically running in our existing right-of-way up Dubuque Street. Thatís basically that. I guess we can answer any questions that you may have. Mike and I did go out and take a look at what weíre proposing right now for a crossing of Dubuque Street. We looked at a location that was brought up at the meeting for site distance, and we took a very short traffic count of turning movements at Stewart Road and on Dubuque Street. Weíre in the process of putting together a speed study and having our counters put out to determine average speeds of traffic at Stewart Road and where we propose our crossing.
Stutsman: So, whereís your crossing being proposed now? Did I miss that?
Miller: Itís actually about halfway between Stewart Road and West Overlook. West Overlook is here. This is Stewart Road. This is where weíre planning on crossing.
Stutsman: Oh, OK.
Jordahl: Sheet D7.
Stutsman: D7, OK. All right. OK. Thank you. Any questions?
Jordahl: This is a separated trail?
Miller: Thatís correct.
Jordahl: Separated by how much?
Miller: Well, the trail meanders around some, but weíre trying to keep it as close to the right-of-way as we can. We still have to maintain. Are you talking about separation between the trail and the edge of the road?
Jordahl: Well, whatever.
Miller: Roughly 25 feet, Iím guessing.
Jordahl: 25 feet from the road.
Miller: From the edge of the road?
Gardner: Oh possibly yes. That could be roughly.
Miller: We have 50 foot of right-of-way for the most part all the way up there either side of center line. So, weíre using that 50-foot to get our trail and still maintain drainage in the roadside ditch.
Jordahl: So, you mean on the far side. The outside edge of the trail would be very near the edge of the right-of-way.
Miller: Itís close. Weíre within 10 foot in most places.
Thompson: Are you going to have to buy any land?
Miller: We donít have to purchase any land to get the trail in. We do have some places where we have to match drives that weíre crossing, that we have to get a decent grade on the trail. Weíre going to have to do some grading work and weíre going to have to get back onto a couple of peopleís property to just flatten slopes out, to restore their front yard. But, thatís all weíre going to do. Just have a temporary easement to do the grading work.
Jordahl: Last night riding my bike home, on the Coralville Strip, that sidewalk along there on the north side of the highway, I was noticing to myself, this isnít real safe. Because of the traffic movements I had to keep watching out of the left end of my eye for traffic turning in from behind me and for traffic coming out of the lots. Thereís no signage there that says to them, stop. Bicycles may be going by here, pedestrians, look out. Iím wondering if we were addressing the question of signage on these drives. We need like a little stop sign or reminder that the traffic is going to be going by here would be helpful.
Miller: Weíre not planning on putting anything at the residential drives. We are planning on putting some, correct me if Iím mistaken, weíre planning on putting things at the side roads where we do cross. Now weíre going to do our own signings, so it wonít be part of the construction project, but weíll do our own. Where we do cross Dubuque Street, wherever that does end up, weíll have the stop sign on either end for the bicyclists, to notify them that they must stop and hopefully look both ways before they try to get across again.
Stutsman: Now, how far does this follow the existing path.
Miller: The existing path actually starts out about the River Products Quarry entrance on the opposite side of the road, on the eastside of the road. It comes up here for a time and then, I believe, there is a section where there is actually no trail and then it picks up on the eastside. It runs on the west side for a period of time. Iím not sure where it actually starts up here.
Duffy: Down at the bottom of the hill.
Thompson: It crosses at Mooreís.
Miller: It runs on the west side of the road, then it crosses back over up at Stewart Road.
Stutsman: So, this is going to be, a lot of itís going to be all new trail, isnít it?
Miller: Thereís some thatís new trail.
Gardner: Actually, all of the old trail will be removed when weíre on the same side of the road, with the relocated trail. Where weíre relocating onto the west side, where itís existing on the eastside, that will remain in place. The 4-foot on the eastside will stay. But, wherever the existing trail is on the west side and the new trail is on the west side, that will be removed. The old trail will be replaced with all new.
Stutsman: Oh, OK.
Lehman: Will the County be responsible for the, basically abandoned, portion (inaudible) to the landowners or how will that be taken care of if cracks, dishevels, whatever, but the area that we will be relocating to the other side of the road now. Is that maintained?
Gardner: The County has never had any maintenance on those that Iím aware of.
Lehman: OK. Never had to or?
Jordahl: But suppose that a crack or a chuck hole did develop there, our liability would be invoked since itís out structure in the right-of-way.
Gardner: Iím not sure exactly whoseÖ
Miller: Youíre talking about the old trail arenít you?
Gardner: The old trail, Iím not sure whose that is.
Thompson: If you look on sheet D7, the remaining old trail, I think, will just be this part, from Stewart Road to where it crosses. That will be all that is left of the old trail. Is that right?
Jordahl: Do you mean the existing one crosses at Stewart Road?
Jordahl: Well, if it goes back and forth more than once, then there must be some other section of old trail, like near River Products down there at the bottom of the hill. Itís on the eastside, right?
Miller: Itís on the eastside thatíll still be in place.
Thompson: Oh thatís right. Yes.
Miller: I donít know that that gets used near as much as the other side.
Thompson: No, this oneís a big thoroughfare.
Jordahl: But, when you say that the County hasnít done maintenance on the existing trail, it kind of raises the question of what maintenance is the County going to do on the new trail that we build.
Gardner: Any problem with the trail itself, if it develops a crack or something, we are responsible for maintaining that. We wonít do winter snow removal. That type of thing will not be done.
Jordahl: I think itís a good ski path in the winter.
Gardner: Thatís what theyíve said.
Jordahl: Letís just not get into that realm.
Thompson: My memory of the old (inaudible) starting to feel like the oldest one here. My memory was that it was put in by some trails group or environmental group and that the County gave them an easement, but they didnít take any liability for it, so all of the maintenance on the trail has been done by the homeowners along the trail. Chick Meade has just done hours and hours of work at mowing and trimming brush and all of that. So, now you guys are going to take over the trimming brush and the paving troubles.
Miller: The new trail.
Thompson: On the new part, yes. Thatís good.
Lehman: When you mentioned 2-foot earth shoulders, thatís more of a grade. Itíll be grass, but itíll still be saying, if you got the path here itís not going to drop off. Youíre going to have levels.
Miller: Right. Right, youíre going to have similar to kind of a shoulder on the roadway. Itís going to be 2-foot either side, so if you were filling on your trail, youíre not going to have a drop off right off the edge. Youíre going to have 2-foot of grass on both sides of the bike trail at a minimum.
Thompson: When people were suggesting other possible places to cross, it was my feeling that you were interested in looking at that.
Miller: We did yesterday, actually.
Thompson: Do you want to talk about that a little bit more?
Miller: I can. I do have a few handouts here in case we got into this. Iíll hand them out to you. The way the proposed crossing is, Iím not showing it on this sheet. The proposed crossing is as we talked before and itís also in your plan sheets there. But, this would be an alternative crossing area. What we did, we actually measured site distances, both north and south on the proposed crossing and alternate crossing. We also did about a 15 minute, just short traffic count when we were sitting there, that gives you some idea of where the people are going out of Stewart Road, coming in to Stewart Road. Now, we are going to put our traffic counters out on the road. They can detect how fast the cars are going.
Thompson: Are you going to do this on a warm Saturday?
Miller: Well, actually, our traffic counters, they donít care if itís cold or warm.
Gardner: Carolís worried about the traffic going outÖ
Thompson: Thatís where the traffic is going to be the most interesting.
Miller: OK. There you go. Weíre actually going to do it this weekend.
Gardner: No, weíre short one counter, so weíre going to have to wait until we get it replaced. So, Iím sure when itís going to be. Probably next week sometime.
Thompson: On a weekend though.
Gardner: It will cover, yes, a period of more than one day.
Thompson: Yes. Thatís good.
Gardner: So, itíll cover through the weekend.
Stutsman: So, whatís the rationale for wanting it changed.
Miller: Well, one of the arguments brought up at the meeting was that people are slowing down to make this curve here at Stewart Road. They felt that people are crossing there now and they felt itís a better place to cross than on the straight section that weíre proposing the crossing. They feel that the traffic is actually going faster where weíre proposing the crossing at. Thereís adequate site distance. Well, the proposed crossing we have has about 970 foot of site distance to the north and about 910-foot south, which is plenty of site distance. But, we donít know. Weíve heard comments about the traffic changing speeds and until we get our traffic counters out there to determine how much change there is, if there is any, we donít know yet. Of course, I donít have a very good eye for speed. But, when we were sitting out there, there didnít seem to me to be a major or drastic difference, although this probably wasnít a peek time to be counting. But, we were also sitting in a truck with a big light on, too, so they might have thought we were the police.
Jordahl: Well, when I think about these intersections and safety and crossing stuff, I think about where people are looking, not just how fast they are going. I just got hit last week in the knee by a car while walking. The whole deal was that the person looked one way, looked the other way, and I was kind of like not if the field of where they were looking for this thing. If you have people turning onto Stewart Road here, you might have a kind of looking at the Stewart Road thing going on. Maybe somebody slowing down to turn right, maybe somebody wanting to go fast when they come to that straight of way thatís coming next. So, if you got north bound traffic and somebody is slowing to turn right onto Stewart, you might have somebody zipping around them to pass and go onto the straight of way and not be looking left for bicycles coming at the crossing right there. At an intersection thereís this sort of vexedness of whatís going on. The attention has to go in a lot of different directions at once to keep safe. Where, farther down, you could have a sign saying yo, bicycles are crossing here and that would be the only sign that theyíre dealing with.
Miller: Thatís exactly what our thought was and originally why we didnít propose the crossing at Stewart Road was because of all the turning movements and the things going on at the intersection itself. These are 15-minute counts that Iím giving you right here on this. Just when we were there, and you can take this for whatever itís worth, it does show that when we were sitting there that people are coming out Stewart Road the majority of them are going to Iowa City. The majority of people turning into Stewart Road are coming from Iowa City, at least the time when we were there. So, what we looked at is, if we were going to look at an alternate crossing down near the intersection, we definitely didnít want it south of Stewart Road. Youíve got a number of conflicts there already and youíre just increasing the number of conflicts that you may have with people turning in and out of there from Iowa City. So, we looked at an alternate crossing just north of Stewart Road.
Jordahl: Of course, the advantage to having that there would be that we get a lot of people who live down Stewart Road that might be bicycling to work and rather than having to go back north to go south to Iowa City, theyíd be right there.
Stutsman: Well, it sounds like youíre taking a very deliberate approach to the consideration to changing it and I think weíll just have to wait and see what the counters show and all these other factors enter in and see where the final cross over will be.
Miller: The other thing that I didnít bring up, too, is we had John Yapp, with Johnson County Council of Governments discuss Iowa Cityís trails and Coralvilleís trails and kind of how this all is going to link up in the next couple of years. It was great help for John to be there and support what we were doing. And weíve used him for a lot of information when weíre trying to put these plans together, also.
Stutsman: I was going to say, where do we go from here then. This just was an update to tell us where youíre at on the process.
Gardner: This was just sort of for your information to let you know the information that we gathered at the meeting the other night. I think there was some representatives of the neighborhood that are today. Iím not sure if you wanted to open it up for discussion.
Stutsman: Oh. OK.
Jordahl: Before you do that, I just wanted to ask about that Coralville Lake. Are we talking primarily Oakdale Boulevard as a trail link to Coralville or is there something going to go through that Welsh Village area?
Thompson: For now.
Gardner: For now the Welsh Village will be the connection and then eventually, when Oakdale goes through, it will have the bike path alongside of it.
Miller: Iowa City has a bike trail, itís actually being used for construction vehicles right now in the Water Plant area. After that constructionís done, theyíre going to bring it up to Butler Bridge and connect to Butler Bridge on the other side.
Gardner: Thatíll take place in 2002 is what John was saying.
Jordahl: So, itíll go under Butler Bridge from the trail?
Jordahl: Or how do you get from the trail head south of Butler Bridge to this trail?
Miller: On the west shoulder of Butler Bridge. We have an 8-foot shoulder on the bridge. The bridge is actually 40-foot wide, so weíve got the shoulder on the bridge.
Jordahl: OK, so the bridge is wide enough.
Thompson: So, it turns in there at the river and follows the river instead of Dubuque Street around and then goes under Interstate 80, at that place they just built. Is it a new place?
Miller: Iím not sure. I heard you talking to John about that. Iím not that familiar with it, but I did hear him say that they are going to go under the Interstate.
Gardner: Theyíll be traveling under the Interstate at the bridge.
Thompson: I didnít know if that was already a thing, or if that was what they were building when they put water lines in and other utilities under the bridge recently.
Gardner: Iím not sure where itís at now as far as right there.
Thompson: Anyway, they got a tunnel. Thatís nice.
Stutsman: Well, letís open this up for public comments then if there are people here who want to comment on this proposal. If there are people to comment, we do need to have you come up to the microphone and introduce yourself for the Auditorís Office.
Mary Lewis: Iím Mary Lewis, this is my husband Mike.
Mike Lewis: Hi.
Stutsman: Good morning.
Mary Lewis: We live at 2987 Dubuque Street. We have a few comments to make about where it might cross. One is one point. Presently, itís on the opposite side of the street from where we are. We donít cross the street in front of our house. We go down to Stewart Road and cross. The traffic comes out of the curve and just, they hit it. Itís a straight stretch and theyíre going. You can hear them squeal out as they go down the street. In the heavy traffic that we see on the weekends, you canít get across the street. You go to Stewart Road, thereís more of a likelihood youíll get across. Cars are slowing down, either to turn or theyíre coming out of Stewart Road. Theyíll wait for you there, for you to cross. You get a lot more opportunity and theyíre not nearly as fast and itís not nearly as dangerous of an area to cross. I did see where they put the flag yesterday for the crossing and it looks like a good idea. Itíd be on the north side of Stewart Road and again all the cars do tend to go into Iowa City or coming out of Iowa City that are coming from Stewart Road, so that is a good area right there. Iíd like you to consider that as the crossing for that road.
Stutsman: Very good. Thank you.
Mike Lewis: Therefore, everybody that lives down on Stewart Road, there is a lot of people. They could come up and cross right there and go across, too. Thereís another thing. We got a good sidewalk there on the west side already. Why couldnít they just run it up and connect to that sidewalk and then put the new one on the eastside all the way to the Reservoir. I just donít understand this. Why tear up this walking trail, there?
Mary Lewis: Thereís already a sidewalk on the opposite side there where, why not just follow it right intoÖ Since the goal is to get into the Reservoir, the place to cross would be where it crosses, or just shortly past where it crosses now, and use the old sidewalk thatís already there. Itís also a shaded area, which is nice. Thereís fewer driveways, itís just a nicer area for walking, as far as the shade and not being in the open.
Stutsman: Comments. Mike, Al, why that wasnít considered?
Miller: The minimum width of that recreational trail has got to be the recommended 8 to 10-foot. Iím not sure that weíd be able to get any funding if we left a section out of the trail.
Mike Lewis: Oh. We donít own the property next to us. Itís a vacant lot. Thereís a big tree sitting there. Are they going to have to take that tree out? That tree and one of our trees is the only ones that turn color first in the beginning of the year. Itís beautiful and weíd sure hate to see that cut down.
Miller: One thing, Mike and I were out there yesterday, that we were looking at is, the reason why we were going to have trouble with that tree and heíd got another tree, I think that, more to the north. (Inaudible) outside of our right-of-way. (Inaudible) get an easement, slide our trail over on your property slightly to see the tree. I didnít think youíd want to look at that.
Mike Lewis: But, if you did that then weíd be liable for the sidewalk, right?
Miller: No. Weíd have an easement over, just like we have for Dane Road.
Mike Lewis: Thatís another thing, like you said earlier, who is going to maintain this sidewalk?
Mary Lewis: Whoís liability?
Mike Lewis: Whoís liability is this?
Mary Lewis: Thatís a concern for us.
Mike Lewis: On our driveway, crossing everyday.
Jordahl: Who, you mean you talking about the rec trail now on your side of the road?
Mary Lewis: Yes. Right.
Thompson: You mean if it gets a hole in it or something?
Mike Lewis: Or if somebody gets hurt on it.
Mary Lewis: Or if somebody falls. Somebody falls in our driveway because theyíre messing around on the sidewalk. Whoís responsible?
Gardner: Itís all in the County Road right-of-way. A similar question is, if a car wrecks on the roadway, itís in the County right-of-way, too.
Lehman: It would be similar to situation in a town where you have a sidewalk thatís on your property. Youíre responsible. The City will come out and mark it if you have a square that needs to be replaced. Youíre required to take care of the snow, which it wouldnít be in this case here.
Miller: Itís a different type of situation than a sidewalk is to a city homeowner. Weíve received federal funding for a bike trail and itís dedicated as such and weíre required to maintain the recreational trail that exists in our easement, where the property owner owns to the center of the road, similar to what Mike was saying. If we have a car that gets in an accident on your side of the center line, it is on your property.
Mary Lewis: So, you could say we would not be liable?
Miller: I could say you would not be liable.
Mary Lewis: Would not be.
Stutsman: Well, and then the other side of that, too, then, is the issue to do with trees. Thatís why we take trees out of the right-of-way is because we are liable for them. So, thatísÖ You donít have liability.
Mary Lewis: Itís not a dangerous tree.
Stutsman: Pardon me?
Mary Lewis: Itís not a dangerous tree.
Stutsman: Well, but it is.
Miller: It is if somebody hits it.
Stutsman: Yes, and thatís how the County has to approach it. We have to minimize our liability and so thatís unfortunately why trees have to be removed from the right-of-way, is because weíre trying to minimize our risk.
Mary Lewis: One other thing that we were thinking about with this project and was explained to us is that there would be 16 feet of cement in our driveway. Our driveway is blacktop from our house to the road. It really has a nice look. The length of it looks longer. It adds to the value of our home. To put a stretch of 16 feet of cement in, itís going to change the look on that.
Lehman: 8-foot wide, 16-foot long.
Mary Lewis: Well, itís 8-foot wide, but then they got to go on the driveways. Didnít you say it was going to be 16 feet?
Miller: Weíre going to cut out an extra 4-foot on either side of the dimension to what they currently have.
Stutsman: Can you have different surfaces along the trail?
Miller: Itís not a good idea.
Lehman: Paint it black?
Miller: Yes, weíll pour concrete and paint it black.
Mary Lewis: There you go.
Stutsman: Any other comments?
Mike Lewis: Down there on Stewart Road, we have 3 children and they use the trail all the time. They walk down and get on the trail. Weíre not totally against this trail. We like trails. It separates traffic from people. But, if you take it up there, Iím sure there is going to be a problem, if you take it way up there by the West Overlook cross.
Stutsman: Itís good to have your input, so we appreciate your comments.
Mike Lewis: Thank you.
Stutsman: Thank you.
Duffy: Could I get your address again? Dubuque Street what?
Mary Lewis: 2987.
Thompson: Itís right here.
Stutsman: Was there somebody else that had some comments?
Doris Montag: Iím Doris Montag and Iím at 2979 Dubuque Street. So, thatís on the west side of the road. The stop and cross is on the north side of my property. Iím just dreadfully unenthused about that being the stopping place and the crossing place, when on the other side of the street, there are actually only 2 driveways that they would have to cross. From Stewart Road up to and past my driveway they have essentially, I think they have 4 drives they have to cross and Iíd just like you to consider the alternative. Thatís all.
Stutsman: Very good. Thank you. One more individual?
Gerald Pribble: My name is Gerald Pribble and I live at 2985 Dubuque Street. Iíve lived out there since 1970 and I was the one that mowed the original bikeway for years when you was first putting it in. Iím not, against the bikeway. But, also, I donít know if they realize that all the utility lines underground are on the west side of that. They run right up that road where theyíre proposing the bikeway and Iím one of them thatís going to lose a tree or else they have to go around. Iím all in favor of the bikeway, but I think, after living out there and seeing the traffic coming from West Overlook on a Sunday afternoon at 70 mile an hour at the straight stretch, they do get slowed down for the corner at Stewart Road or they wreck. I think that Stewart Road is probably, north of the Stewart Road area, is probably your best way for your cross road because people do slow down there. But, when he gets his counter out there, and if itís on a good weekend when the people are leaving the Reservoir, the motorcycles, the cars, youíll see the difference in the speed real fast. Thank you.
Stutsman: Thank you. Anybody else have comments about this?
Jordahl: As we go down the eastside of that with construction and there are trees, I hear a couple for example, that are between the bike trail and the road, weíll be clearing that whole area I assume as part of construction.
Miller: Weíre only going to be clearing the trees that we get into with our construction. There are a number of trees that will exist between the road and the bike trail. Weíre required to have 10-foot clears on Dubuque Street, unless we were looking at an upgrading project. Weíre in a, like a resurfacing project, when we put resurfacing on Dubuque Street, we had to have a minimum of 10-foot clearance.
Jordahl: So, this is not considered an upgrade of Dubuque Street itself? This is a separate project?
Jordahl: OK. Thanks.
Stutsman: We need to move along. I just want to ask, OK, where do we go from here? Youíre going to put out the counters, youíre going to evaluate that information. Will you have another public informational meeting? Will you come to the Board with the final plans for the layout?
Gardner: I guess we can do whatever youíd like us to do. Weíll make a recommendation of why we feel it should be (inaudible).
Stutsman: All right.
Gardner: (Inaudible) inform you if you want that in, we can do it.
Stutsman: OK. Whatís the BoardísÖ.
Lehman: Iíd like to at least have a report of how theyíre proceeding.
Stutsman: All right.
Jordahl: Iíd like to look at the Stewart Road question. Not to micromanage, I think youíre going to study it anyway.
Gardner: Thatís what weíre looking at now.
Thompson: Iíve really appreciated your willingness to hear what everyone has to say and be open to changes.
Jordahl: Yes. These public input meetings are just great.
Lehman: I think your visual aids are just tremendous.
Stutsman: OK. Then why donít you, after you come up, after youíve finished your count and evaluation, weíll put it back, or you can put it back on the Boardís agenda. For the people that are here and want to follow this progress of this project, itís impossible for us to contact everybody thatís interested. So, we do have the agendas listed on the web-site for the Board of Supervisors. If you want to call up the office we can certainly tell you when thatís going to be on the agenda or call up the Secondary Roads, just so that we can keep communication open, so you know when weíll be reviewing this again. I guess you do have a list of the people that you contact concerning this project.
Gardner: From the first initial informational meeting, yes.
Thompson: Maybe we should clarify, Al. Does the offer that you just made to the Lewisí to save their tree if they give you an easement, does that apply to all the trees that are in question or only the ones on their land?
Miller: Well, it definitely applies in that case where we have the ability to shift the trail a little bit. There still are going to be some trees that are going to have to come up.
Miller: We have some that are in some fill areas where weíve got to remove and weíve got to fill in, so I couldnítÖ We canít save everything out there. A lot of that is brush.
Gardner: We could look at individual, if anyone has something that theyíd like us to look at individually we can do that.
Stutsman: All right. Any other comments?
Jordahl: Iíve been talkingÖ
Stutsman: Jonathan, we need to keep moving along here.
Jordahl: Rick about web, just web contact. If you have email, the email distribution list is free, basically, if you had the email addresses from folks to send out updates. Itís something weíre looking into, in the next Web Committee meeting, is establishing e-mail distribution lists. So, you might be interested in that.
Stutsman: All right. Letís move on then to Discussion Action Needed Regarding Quotes Received for Application of Calcium Chloride to Roads in the Program. Al, or I was going to say Al Gardner. Thatís not right. Mike Gardner and Kevin Hackathorn. Kevin is Maintenance Superintendent at Secondary Roads.
Gardner: OK. Iíll start off again and then turn it over to the expert. Weíve taken quotes for our calcium chloride needs for this year, again. As you know, weíre been implementing a little different program this year, so itís kind of a new ballgame for all of us. Weíll see how it works out. But, we did send out, requesting quotes for our calcium chloride needs and received those. I think the deadline was last Friday. Iíll let Kevin explain what we got.
Maintenance Supervisor Kevin Hackathorn: OK. We sent out 4 different companies, 3 of them responded, one with a no bid or it wasnít interested. They came in pretty close this year. The price has gone up quite a bit from last year on the chloride. I think weíre paying, I think it was $.38 a gallon last year. Now weíre up around the $.47 range. The 2 top runners, Gasaway Maintenance Company and Benson Stevens. Gasaway, we donít know anything about the company but the fact that theyíve never worked in the County. My concerns to Mike was that no more in the difference was and Benson Stevens has been working in the County considerably amount on our test droves and plus heís been doing all the private individuals for years. With the complications involved in changing this program, like we are this year, and the different locations, we know weíre going to make a mistake here or there. Getting follow up from Benson Stevens, which is sort of local to the area, compared to the Gasaway, which is out of State. For the difference, I was talking to Mike, if we couldnít maybe go with Benson Stevens, at least this first year, to help us along with this program or for the fact that he knows the County. Itís going to take a lot of burden off our staff.
Stutsman: When youÖIím sorry, Kevin. Go ahead.
Hackathorn: With him, I mean, like I say, heís worked in the County, knows most of the names, most of the roads. If it was a matter of if we missed one place, calling him up and saying, say Sioux Avenue, a certain name, heís probably familiar with it because heís probably squirted that residence before, anyway, during the private thing. Itís like $1,100 difference over the about $95,000 contract.
Stutsman: It seems like other contracts in the past, weíve run into some problems not accepting the low bid. Is that a problem in this one?
Gardner: This we took quotes on. These werenít formal bids.
Stutsman: All right.
Gardner: We have done this in the past. I believe it was 1997 we awarded the 2nd low quote similar situation. We werenít familiar with the people that were low. The difference in the contract at that time was around $800 on the whole contract. We were familiar with the 2nd low. We recommended at that time that it would be awarded to them, and it was.
Stutsman: Is this within your budget? You said itís more, not only the bids a little bit higher, but the estimate from last year is higher.
Gardner: Yes. I just checked, and weíre in good shape. We can handle it, unless we get some real big surprises that we donít anticipate right now as far as quantities that we may have to end up shooting.
Lehman: Probably looking at fuel prices affecting this, and possibly the product itself.
Hackathorn: Thatís what Iím guessing. Itís affecting everything weíve been doing, from hauling our rock to this. Iím sure anything that involves trucking, the price would jump tremendously. Itís hard to really guess. Weíre hoping the price of fuel goes down, but it seemed stable here.
Gardner: There may be a little influence in our past contracts, itís been you start at one end of the road and go solid for the whole length. This year itís set up a little differently, where they are going to have to start, stop, start and stop and move a lot more. That may have had a little influence on the price. I agree with Kevin that the majority of itís probably the fuel cost.
Hackathorn: Also, last year, the company that got it was low, was quite a bit lower. Everybody said I donít know how they can stay in business and do that. Well, theyíre not in business anymore.
Jordahl: One thing I donít recall from our discussion of adopting this policy was we talked about informing the people who got their road taken out of the program. Are you also informing the people who have been paying for calcium chloride who may not need to pay for calcium chloride when the road goes into the program?
Gardner: Yes, weíre attempting to. Hopefully, weíre getting that done adequately. Weíve been getting a lot of phone calls. People become aware of the program, and so Iím sure thereís going to be some that weíve missed, some that have already entered into an agreement with the supplier, that we may end up having to reimburse them. We would normally, under the new program, be responsible for it, so Iím sure thereís going to be a few of those. Thereís going to be a few that didnít realize that they had been getting it in the past, so we might have to do some accommodation for them, allow them to come in a little later after what weíd normally consider our deadline for signing up to the private.
Jordahl: Is there any gain to that in paying for a double shot to get more calcium chloride, or is that negative because of the effect of the calcium chloride?
Gardner: You may want to say that. I donít think theyíre going to gain anything by what we try to do. The concentration that weíre shooting at is supposedly the optimum. Putting more on may or may not increase the effectiveness. Something that we are trying to get across to them is that, for the safety program, weíre centering the 500 feet on their driveway, 200 foot either way. This is for the safety of the people using the road. Itís not for dust control in their house. If their driveway happens to be on one end of the property, they may want to extend that shot of calcium further off the end of it. In that case, they would be responsible for the cost.
Hackathorn: Weíve been trying to notify the people. For instance, up on Amana Road, weíve got some that still have the oil program, notifying them that if they donít want to pay the cost of the oil, weíll take the cost of the chloride also. Different things like that. They donít want to lose that oil.
Jordahl: Now when you say oilÖ
Stutsman: Letís get back to the discussion about the quotes for this, because I think weíre getting off on talking about the Road Management Program. Are there any other discussions about the quote? Do we want to consider the low bid?
Thompson: I would be willing to consider his recommendation to take the middle bid. What do we do next?
Stutsman: Well, put it on the agenda for Thursday to approve and take the bid of Benson Stevens.
Hackathorn: Itís my feeling, especially this first year, because thereís a lot of things that are just sort of left in the dark that weíre not going to realize happened as far as working with Benson Stevens before in the past. I can call them in the evening and the next morning, they can be up here to squirt if we might have missed something.
Jordahl: Probably a public relations firm would be good too. You could into that or something.
Thompson: You have a very nice article in the Roadways magazine that has a good explanation, I thought.
Gardner: Hopefully that will solve some of our problems.
Stutsman: Are we ready toÖ
Lehman: I didnít have a chance to read that, but I know I had several people ask why donít you use tree sap, and I believe Al explained to me that thatís a one shot deal. Once you grade it, you lose that, where calcium chloride, it can be graded if you develop potholes and stuff like that.
Hackathorn: Itís a guessing game because of the chloride, youíre depending on moisture in the air, which we donít have much of now or last fall. But if everythingís right, chloride will carry through really well.
Lehman: But it can be graded, and his point was that tree sap, once you grade it, you lose it, you donít have that dust control anymore. The road becomes rough and needs to be graded.
Thompson: It mentions calcium chloride and lignin something?
Gardner: Lignin sulfate.
Thompson: Whatís that stuff?
Gardner: Thatís the tree sap.
Thompson: Oh, OK.
Stutsman: Thatís what I told you this morning when you asked me.
Thompson: We still do use that?
Stutsman: Itís available for the peopleÖ
Thompson: People can buy it for their own property. OK.
Jordahl: But when you say oil, are you talking lignin whatever or weíre talking actual oil here?
Gardner: No, chip seal. Some of them have the oil from several years back. That was the only alternative they had. There were a lot of people that used that in front of their homes for dust control.
Lehman: As long as they continue to maintain it at their own expense, theyíre allowed to use it, but if it becomes rough and they donít maintain it, weíre forced to go in and regrade it, and then calcium chloride is their only option.
Jordahl: Weíre talking chip seal, not like my neighbor going out there and throwing his (inaudible) oil out on the road.
Stutsman: That is illegal. Are we ready to put this on, then, for Thursday? Except the Benson Stevens bid? OK. Any other questions?
Hackathorn: So we can get it on and get going on it.
Stutsman: Thank you for clarifying that. Thatís important to have that clarified. Anything under other? I have just one thing under other. Carol you should have received an email about wanting to do a traffic count on the rest of Amana Road.
Peters: That was on Derby Avenue down on the south end, down to (inaudible).
Stutsman: Do we have a policy about these traffic counts? This person wants to be included in this program and thinks the traffic count should be higher. Is there any problem with putting traffic counters out there?
Gardner: When we were going through the discussion about the policy, we knew this was going to come up, and anybody that didnít get in is going to be requesting a count. What I envisioned was, I know there are some counts that are probably bad on the map, and they jump out at us. Weíve actually gone on out and counted some of these because we didnít think they were right. That wasnít one that jumped out at me that it wasnít right. I asked Kevin about it this morning, because Iíve received 3 or 4 calls myself. It wasnít one that just jumped out at him either as being wrong. You start questioning one without some kind of justification, I think weíre going to be chasing a lot of them. We can certainly do it if thatís your wish.
Thompson: I thought it was going to be your decision.
Jordahl: Well, thatís what the policy says, at the discretion of the Secondary Roads Engineer, but it might be useful to get him some backup from somewhere.
Gardner: Theyíre not liking what Iím telling them. Theyíre not getting the calls and so theyíre calling down here. I spoke with this individual twice already.
Stutsman: Do we want to reaffirm Mikeís decision and say, based on his discretion and the Boardís policy, that we will not be putting a traffic count out there, or do we want to tell him toÖ
Jordahl: Well, I made a suggestion. Did you read my email response to Mike from yesterday? Just kind of throw it out there that people could pay for a count. I donít know what that would cost. It would be sort of like a disincentive to request a count, but at a certain levelÖ
Thompson: Is it a possibility?
Gardner: Yes. Itís a possibility. I would suggest that it be taken up front before we give a count. It would be tough to collect if it doesnít come in. The other thing I wanted to bring to your attention is that we did write into the policy, and this just kind of mirrors the Linn County, whereas weíve drawn the threshold at 150 vehicles based on the DOT map. If weíre required to go out and make a special count, that number then goes up to 200, that they have to make 200 off of the raw count.
Jordahl: The other point I wrote in my response, I donít know if youíve had a chance to read that yet, was that if we do go out for a special count, like, Iíve got to make darn sure they donít know when it is.
Hackathorn: I think thatís why they raised the count, because the chance is good they know, they see us out there putting the counters out and start driving (inaudible).
Duffy: Well really, if we donít go by the state traffic count, the 1998, just across the board, then I think youíd be awful busy if youíre going toÖ Why would we go with the rest of the roads, and some think that theyíre bound to be off a few more than that. I just think we should stick with the traffic count that we got from the State.
Hackathorn: One good example is Naples Avenue, going down Highway 1 going south, the traffic count said 760 cars a day. Thatís just to that new development part that Iowa City has, where those buildings are. You know, thereís numbers like that that just jump out and say this is wrong.
Gardner: It was showing that count for the whole mile. Actually, it was probably taking up the intersection of Highway 1, so we went out and counted the rock portion of the road, and it verified our thought that thatís not what the count is down there on the rock part.
Stutsman: Maybe we should put this on for more discussion. I like your suggestion, Jonathan. I think people do have to realize that it does take time and resources to redo these counts all the time. Weíd be happy to do them, but there would be a charge. If the engineer felt there wasnít a justifiable reason, that there was a lot of variance in what heís seen in the 1998 counts, maybe a policy that we can talk about. But it doesnít sound from Board members that thereís support to do this count on Amana Road based on MikeísÖ
Jordahl: I certainly have no interest in overriding the Engineerís judgement.
Jordahl: But if we couldÖ If we do talk about a fee, I want to make sure that we talk about something that includes the notion of a disincentive and not just covering the cost of doing it.
Jordahl: Because itís a nuisance to them to have to go do this all the time.
Stutsman: Well, it is. I worry about people seeing those counters and then running their cars back and forth to try and get the count out, knowing that they can get the County to pay for the calcium chloride if that countís up high enough. This is the consequence of changing this policy, and I think the Board has to recognize that and make sure that those counts are accurate.
Jordahl: I just came up with another really cool idea.
Stutsman: OK, weíll put that on the agenda for next week.
Jordahl: Cover the counter with gravel, make it look like gravel.
Gardner: We do that.
Jordahl: I mean make the counter look like gravel. You do?
Gardner: Theyíre buried. But if someone sees them when we go outÖ
Hackathorn: It just takes one phone call.
Stutsman: I was going to say, the neighborhood phone tree is in progress.
Jordahl: Got to do this at night.
Gardner: We can program them to start whenever. We could have them out there for a month and have them counting just 2 days, but we donít really want to tie up our counters for a month just to try to get a 2 day count.
Jordahl: Some black uniforms, black trucks.
Stutsman: OK. I guess we digress. Thank you very much. Thatís everything that we had on for the County Engineer. Been asked to have a short break before we go back to business from the Health Department, so we will take a break for about 5 minutes.
Recessed at 11:10 a.m.; reconvened at 11:15 a.m.
(Continued in Part 3)