The Dallas County Board of Supervisors held its regular weekly meeting on Tuesday, March 28. Instead of being held at the regular location at 802 Court, they held the meeting at the Human Services Campus, just north of town, to accommodate the County employees who were on hand to hear more about the proposed jail.


During the meeting, the Supervisors opened a public hearing to discuss Dallas County’s 5-year plan for secondary road maintenance. Each year, the County Engineer must submit the County’s 5-year road construction plan and budget to the State by April 15.


“This is roughly the same time frame that we went through this process last year,” said Al Miller, Dallas County Engineer.


The plan shows 18 projects that will be completed between 2018 and 2022 all over Dallas County and has a total estimated value of about $14 million.


Of those 18 projects, 10 of them are bridge replacements.


Starting in 2018, projects to be completed include F25 pavement rehab in northwest Dallas County, the replacement of the 170th Street bridge in north-central Dallas County, F60 culvert replacement in southwest Dallas County and Maffitt Lake Road pavement rehab in southeast Dallas County.


In 2019, projects to be completed include P46 pavement rehabilitation in northwest Dallas County, 170th Street bridge replacement to the west of the bridge that is currently being replaced, F25 bridge replacement, 128th Plaza culvert replacement in north-central Dallas County and P57 pavement rehabilitation in south-central Dallas County.


In 2020, projects to be completed include B Avenue bridge replacement in northwest Dallas County, O Avenue bridge replacement in north-central Dallas County and 250th Street bridge replacement in eastern Dallas County.


In 2021, projects to be completed include H Avenue bridge replacement in west-central Dallas County, 270th Street bridge replacement in west-central Dallas County and F60 grade and pave in south-central Dallas County.


In 2022, projects to be completed include Pioneer Avenue bridge replacement in north-central Dallas County, P30 pavement rehabilitation in western Dallas County and Knox Avenue grade and pave in south-central Dallas County.


Pioneer Cemetery ordinance creation


In 2016, there were discussions about how to go about regulating pioneer cemeteries in Dallas County. Currently, it is unclear who is responsible for the maintenance of Pioneer Cemeteries, be it the township trustees, or the Dallas County Board of Supervisors.


In the State of Iowa, a pioneer cemetery is defined as a cemetery that has had 12 or fewer burials in the last 50 years.


Dallas County Attorney, Wayne Reisetter, said that as he recalls from earlier conversations, the township trustees were interested in being given the opportunity to continue to maintain the cemeteries, including pioneer cemeteries.


“As I understood that conversation, you (the Board of Supervisors) wanted to provide respect to them for their efforts and support to their efforts, as opposed to a heavy hand, interfering with efforts they may be doing or wish to do,” Reisetter said.


In September, the Board of Supervisors held an open meeting with the township trustees about whether or not they should create a commission for the maintenance of pioneer cemeteries and most of the township trustees agreed that one should not be created.


Citing Iowa code, Reisetter suggested that there should be in ordinance in place regarding the maintenance of pioneer cemeteries but also said that what it says will be up to the Board.


“You need to acknowledge the State Code for a couple of reasons,” Reisetter said. “One is because the State Code infers that you should have such an ordinance, but also because this provision in there that says ‘pioneer cemeteries, particularly, are the obligation of the County.’


“And so we kind of get into a circumstance as we have been in before where a township, in taking care of their cemetery, and wanting to take good care of all of the cemeteries run into a money issue. And if they’re caring for pioneer cemeteries within a township and they’re spending township cemetery dollars on that when it is, under the State Code, an obligation of the County to maintain those cemeteries, then you have this dissonance that could arise between a request for money and for support that’s obligated against the County by the Code and the township wanting to exercise their authority in using those maintenance dollars.”


Reisetter suggested that the ordinance to declare that townships would still be allowed to maintain pioneer cemeteries, but would have to let the County know that they are doing it.


The topic will be brought back up in a couple of weeks.