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Newspaper Archive of
N. Warren Town and County News
Norwalk, Iowa
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May 6, 2010     N. Warren Town and County News
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May 6, 2010
 

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Page Six N/Warren Town and County News Thursday, May 6, 2010 THE INFRASTRUCTURE CHALLENGE By: KevinMiddleswart, Chairman of Warren County Supervisors Thankfully, blowing snow and brutal cold are fading memories as we welcome warm weather with spring planting and the sound of lawnmowers. The winter of 2009-2010 brought the third highest snowfall in Iowa's history. As Chair of the Warren County Board of Supervisors, I wish to extend heart-felt thanks to our secondary roads crew for their hard work and for the sacrifices they made to make certain winter travel went as unimpeded as possible. The frequency of large snowfall events made for challenging times for our dedicated staff. Most of us do not realize that our crews are called upon t spend weekends and holidays away from home and family when winter storms strike. Personal plans ?or attending a child's ball game or concert are all placed on hold when the call goes out to get our roads cleared. We all remember the blizzard of Christmas Eve~ Our personnel did a great job getting the roads cleared, but were away from home on one of the most important family-oriented days of the year. The urgency in getting the roads cleared has increased dramatically over the last fifty years. In those days, when you woke up you were already at work. The over- whelming majority of our rural residents were farmers. Today, nearly two-thirds of our residents leave the county each day to go to work. The number of school-aged children in rural Warren County has increased exponentially over the last decade, creating unprecedented levels of school bus traffic on county roads. Traffic count has increased tenfold in some areas of the county. This huge increase in vehicle traffic places tremendous stress on road surfaces and sub-base material. Our roads were originally designed to accommodate cars and small, two-axle trucks. Today we rou- tinely haul 40 tons of grain, fuel and other products over these roads in a single load. These factors, along with the hardest freeze/thaw cycle ever recorded, have recently presented new and daunting challenges to the task of keeping our rural roadways in top condition. Creating and maintaining an excellent transportation infrastructure program has been a number one priority for the Board of Supervisors since I began my tenure. Our goal is to provide the county engineer with the resources to get the job done. We have aggressively pursued grant money and other forms of supple- mental funding for our transportation infrastructure improvements. We have also successfully chased Federal ARRA money, state I-JOBS grants and FEMA assistance appropriations. Our staff has successfully written project grants totaling in the mil- lions of dollars. By adopting this strategy, we have been able to dramatically increase services without raising property taxes. I have cultivated a close relationship with leaders at Iowa Department of Transportation. I represent Warren County on the Central Iowa Regional Transportation and Planning Alliance, which works with the Iowa Department of Transportation to facilitate planning, funding and construction of local infrastructure projects. In short, I realize how important our roads are to the safety of our children, to economic development, to emergency services and to our daily routines. Every aspect of our lives hinges on transportation. I will continue to focus my efforts toward making our roads and bridges the best and the safest in the state. The Warren County Board of Supervisors sets the poIicy that guides the construc- tion and maintenance priorities for over 900 miles of roads and 230 bridge struc- tures-the third highest number of bridge structures in Iowa. Identifying problem areas is always a big job. Your calls informing county officials of infrastructure prob- lems out in the county have been extremely helpful. You are our "eyes and ears", your calls are not only welcome, they are invited. -Balancing our infrastructure needs with available resources is always a complex challenge. I believe our team is doing a great job of meeting those challenges, but there is always so mucla more we would like to do. I will continue to look for innova- tive ways to bring effectiveness and efficiency to our publicinfrastructure program. I would like to thank the public for their positive comments and encouragement during the difficult back-to-back winters and wet summers we have recently en- dured. After this last brutal season people were expecting the roadways to turn to mud. I'm happy to report that timely snow removal and last summer's preparation, crowning and getting additional material down helped minimize the damage. We already have quite a jump on this year's repair and conditioning program and are hopeful of a temperate work season so we can get our roads in the best shape possible. Thanks again for your support and your partnership. Kevin Middleswart can be reached at 515-961-1028 or kevinm@co.warren.ia.us. ORDER BEFORE MAY 10th! May Delivery . $11 To place your order, call JACK LANE 981-4273 Za-Ga-Zig Shrine Fundraiser USED CARS & AUTO REPAIR BEEN DOING BUSINESS SINCE 1966 We Repair All Makes & Models: 802 Sunset Drive - Norwalk, IA 50211 Phone: 515-981-0649 Residence: 515-287-6512 WE'RE A qltPA) AUTO CARE CENTER (~EmTIPIED I Lakewood Technology Club Tuesday, April 13, the Lakewood Technology Club students attended the ITEC Central Region Student Technology Fair at the Me- morial Union on Iowa State's campus. These students presented projects at this fair that they had been work- ing on after school for the two months prior to the fair. They all committed a large amount of time and worked diligently during this time to perfect the projects that they had created. There were 25 members in the Lakewood club, with a total of 18 projects that were presented. The following stu- dents presented PowerPoints, which were entered into the Multimedia category: Cooper Beving, Rhett Dempsey and Hunter Pappan, Shelbi Stogdill, Kyra Pastor, Tanner Erickson, Alex Fredregill and Ryan Ree~. Garret KI~rn and Alan Delker, Erech Hazen, Tanner Riekeberg, Reid Kallenbach and Riley Mays: The students who pre- sented projects that had been done using PhotoStory and were entered in the Video/Linear category: Max Hosier, Lizzy Livingston and Abby Tunender, Alli Jorris sentations and they were all and Emme Stockwell, Rylee very proud to show the Origer and Ryan Williams. judges their work. A disfin- One student who was en- guished purple ribbon tered into the Web Presence award went to Rhett category for the web page Demp.~ey and Hunter that she had created within Pappan. These two students Google sites was Mya will have the opportunity to McAl~in. attend the ITEG Conference A few students created in the fall to present to teach- pamphlets within Microsoft ers and administrators Word and the category they throughout the state. entered was Graphics/Pub- The PTO provided the lishing. These students were entrance fee amount for Ella Cort, Kallie Hirl and Jas- each of the students. With- mine Smyth. out these funds, the stu- All of the students did a dents would not have been wonderful job with their pre- able to participate. Audit Report for Norwalk Nolte, Comman & Johnson P.C. has released an audit report on the Norwalk Community School District in Norwalk. The District's revenues totaled $25,299,506 for the year ended June 30, 2009, a 7.04% increase from the prior year. Revenues included $7,056,408 in property tax, $1,330,428 in statewide sales and services tax, charges for services of $2,298,203, operating grants, contributions and restricted interest of $3,302,051, unrestricted state grants of $10,865,554, unrestricted interest of $381,864 and other gen- eral revenues of $64,998. Expenses for District operations totaled $23,426,595, a 9.36% increase from the prior year. Expenses included $9,530,838 for regular instruction, $2,646,991 for special in- struction and $2,071,729 for administration services. A copy of the audit report is available for review in the District Secretary's office, the Office of the Auditor of State and on the Auditor of State's website at http:// auditor.iowa.gov/reports/reports.htm. Deadline for ads, legals and stories is Noon Friday ! III, LIBRARY HOURS Monday - Thursday 10 a.m. -8 p.m. Friday & Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sunday, 1-5 p.m. Closed Sundays (Memcr&l Day-Labor Day) B EDWELL GARDENS AND GREENHOUSE 8044 G14 Hwy, Norwalk 981-4661 (one mile east of Norwalk High School) in for gift ideas and gift certificates. We have a full line of fruit and shade trees. Check out our selection of vegetables, flowers, annuals, perennials and shrubs. We also carry gardening tools and supplies. ..~l mi~ Isi'q;lli~uB m P~[TT !'~, l~l ll'l [ [| : -ll ;7~r1 "~