The Woodbury County Secondary Road Department has proposed an addition to the current secondary road levy to allow more rapid replacement of deficient bridges and the grading and paving of an important road link. A capital project levy of $1,300,000 per year for five years will allow an additional 14 bridges to be replaced. A requested paved road link between county roads L27 and D50 and Iowa Highway 31 will also be funded by this levy. Chairman Larry Clausen noted at a Board meeting in Anthon on January 16th that the levy will only be used for projects, not for wages, equipment, or other secondary road expenses. County Budget Director Dennis Butler said that the funds will be segregated and tracked so that the use of the funds generated by the extra levy will be accountable to the public and only used for county secondary road projects outside any Woodbury County cities.
County Engineer Mark Nahra reported to the Board that, "Our funds are not growing at the same rate as construction and material costs. We are able to do less work each year as inflated costs eat into our budget." He reported to the Board of Supervisors in December that while costs for construction and consumable items such as diesel fuel and gravel have risen by over 10%, departmental income has been flat. Discussion of a gas tax increase at the state level has not resulted in an increase to the road use tax fund, the county's largest revenue source for the secondary road department. "This increase to the secondary road property tax levy would allow the county to increase the number of bridge replacements over the next five years," according to Nahra.
The Board of Supervisors welcomes input from county residents as to whether this levy should be placed upon the tax roles this year. Two public information meetings will be held. On January 17th a meeting of the Board to hear comments will be held at the County Engineers office at 759 E. Frontage Road in Moville. On January 23rd, a third meeting will be held at the Salix City Hall. Both meetings will start at 6:00 PM and run until 7:30 PM.