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Dickinson County: Section of railroad sold for storage

By Staff | Jul 15, 2009

SPIRIT LAKE – Dickinson County Engineer Dan Eckert updated the board of supervisors on the project that would turn 37 miles of abandoned railroad into a bike trail. Nine miles of the railroad, from Superior going west, were purchased from an individual from California. He plans to use the space to store railroad cars.

Board members agreed that the area could become unsightly. “We’re pretty limited with what we can do,” said assistant county attorney Lonnie Saunders about the board’s options.

Action taken approved two utility permits for the Verizon Wind Farm. Qwest requested a permit to put copper cables under A34. The board reluctantly approved the request, citing problems with the company. Discussion was also held on possibly having Saunders contact the Iowa Utilities Board regarding Qwest.

The other utility request came from Osceola Rural Water regarding installing a two-inch potable water crossing, which was approved.

Dickinson County Conservation Board executive director John Walters told the supervisors that the Conservation Board received official notice that it will receive a $35,000 grant from the University of Okoboji Foundation.

Walters said the conservation board would like to hold a joint meeting with the supervisors soon to look at options for how to move forward with the nature center renovation project. A special meeting was set for 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 16 in the supervisor’s room of the Dickinson County Courthouse.

A 6 percent levy on drainage districts 1, 2, 5 and 28 that can be carried out as far as five years was approved.

Eckert discussed two issues that will be on next week’s agenda. The first involves a snow plow that hit a part of the Iowa Northwest Railroad at 290th Avenue. Damage is estimated at $10,900. The other issue involves a landowner at East Okoboji Beach who is wondering if the county would buy the property at the tax assessed cost.