County to extend road to help levee drainage

by Patty Cheffey

Recent heavy rains have again brought an issue to the forefront, regarding the need to build up a private levee and extend the road to help protect farmland.

Randy Klocke was present Monday morning to discuss the issue along County Road 339 with the Marion County Commission, which also heard an update on the CARES Act application, learned of a budget withholding from the state and reviewed the monthly budget report.

According to Klocke, recent heavy rains have again caused flooding on to property he farms along County Road 339. Klocke noted he has discussed the issue with the county in the past.

The issue became a problem when the county replaced a culvert with a pipe about 10 years ago. Debris catching in the pipe and blocking it, means heavy rains will go over the road and drain into the field.

“I don’t know what we need to do, possibly extend the levee and build the road up over it, but we need to keep the water on the south side of the pipe,” he said, adding he estimated there are about three weeks of pumping right now in the area, running a pump 24/7.

Mike Schaefer, county road supervisor, said he is familiar with the problem, noting the big issue is the amount of fill needed. 

However, Klocke said he thinks he can get the necessary dirt. He also noted he is willing to help the county as much as possible with the road.

While the county cannot work on a private levee, they can build up the road once the levee is at the necessary height.

“It’s very doable,” he said, noting the timing is not good right now however.

Commissioners told him to proceed whenever he had the time to do so.

In other business, Teya Stice, county improvements coordinator, updated the commissioners on the application and the advertising for the CARES Act funding.

The application is on the county’s website she said, with four links to direct public entities and small businesses to the necessary application and guidelines.

Stice admitted the application itself is in small type online, but it has to be printed off to be filled out and returned anyway. Only mailed or delivered applications will be accepted. Emailed and faxed copies are not allowed, Stice said.

County Clerk Valerie Dornberger reported she had received notification from the State Tax Commission that because of the economic slow down due to COVID-19, there will be a budget withholding this year.

The Assessment Maintenance reimbursements will need to be adjusted to accommodate the 10 percent withhold, according to an email from the State Tax Commission. New reimbursement workbooks will be available later this week. 

The withhold will amount to around $3,300 Dornberger said.

The county also briefly reviewed the monthly budget report, with everything reported in good shape.

The commissioners also:

• approved the sale of trustee-held property on Grape Street in Hannibal for $100 plus $39 recording fee;

• learned Stice and the assessor will be reviewing the new plat book for approval; and

• appointed Pam Behring to the Marion County Library, Sub-district #1 board of directors.