Contract accepted for construction of trail spur

By John Butters, The JOURNAL


The Washington County Conservation Board voted to accept a $300,000 bid and award a contract to DeLong Construction for a new paved trail from the Kewash to Lexington Avenue.

The action came after the Iowa Department of Transportation reviewed all bids on the project and sent the DeLong bid to the board for final approval.

The board received $342,000 in funding for the project from a Transportation Alternative Program grant.

The board is working with the City of Washington to make improvements to the Kewash Trail from the city to Willow Pond, where the new trail will travel north toward the Kirkwood College campus on Lexington Boulevard.

The city recently received a $100,000 Resource Enhancement And Protection grant from the state for trail improvements.

That money along with a grant from the Washington County Riverboat Foundation could be used for enhancements to the trail.

City and county officials have discussed the possiblility of a trail that could provide Washington with a paved loop to Kirkwood and back.

The work on the new trail is scheduled to begin in September.

In other business, the board agreed to help with lawn maintenance around the historic Red Brick School.

Deborah Johnson, president of the Washington County Historical Society, approached the board members at their regularly scheduled meeting Thursday.

She said the society?s mowing expense was taking a significant amount of their budget. The society?s grant money, she said, could not be used to pay for the work.

Washington County Conservation Board Executive Director said he had recently mowed the grounds at the society?s request. He estimated the amount of land to measure one-half acre.

While that would be a lot for the society to mow, he said, the Conservation staff could handle it without too much trouble.

Maintenance technician Fritz Engel said his staff was already mowing the society?s Walnut School, which is located nearby. It would likely not require an extra trip, he said.

The board agreed to mow the grounds every two weeks, or as needed for the summer.

The Red Brick School was built along what is now Coppock Road in 1873. One of 132 schools in Washington County, it was used until May 1958.

Jim and Cathy Wood donated the school to the Washington County Historical Society in 2006.

The Walnut School is located 5 miles southwest of Washington near 290th Street, just off State Highway 1. It was built in 1863 and used by the community for meetings until 1959.

The board approved the hiring of Jess Fields, Kathy Fields and Randi Jenkins as substitutes for the Conservation Board Education Center Coordinator position.

The board voted to designate Board employees Steve Anderson, Zachary Rozmus and Jayse Horning as peace officers. The designation will allow them to assist the county sheriff?s department on request.