Supervisors still divided on Grundy Road paving, bonding

Robert Maharry

A much discussed proposal to pave a gravel road along the Black Hawk-Grundy county line between Cedar Falls and Dike remains controversial among the board of supervisors here, although those in favor currently hold a 3-2 majority.
Chairman Jim Ross, who represents the southwestern section of Grundy County (the area furthest removed from the road), and Supervisor Barb Smith, who represents Grundy Center, again spoke out against the plan—especially if it involves bonding—during Monday morning’s regular meeting. The cost of the project, which has been estimated at around $8 million altogether, would be split evenly between the two counties and would add another blacktop road running north to south from Highway 20 to Zaneta Road.
“With the amount of bridges we’ve got to repair and the amount of money we have to do this, we’ll have to do some bonding, correct?” Ross asked. “If we bond, then we rob from the maintenance we need to do.”
Additionally, Ross argued that revenues generated from the Wellsburg Wind Farm after the expiration of the initial tax abatement have quickly been put toward upkeep, repairs and replacements on roads and bridges the county already maintains.
A vote on the matter will be added to next week’s agenda and provide guidance for county engineer Gary Mauer moving forward. Supervisor Harlyn Riekena of the Wellsburg/Holland area, who is not seeking re-election in November, said that he still supports paving the road even if it includes bonding. Mark Schildroth (Reinbeck) and Chuck Bakker (Dike) have both been firm advocates for the project, which would most directly affect areas they represent in the eastern half of the county. 
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