Corn growers along Emmet County roads prone to drifting snow may qualify to get $9.50 a bushel to not pick a few rows of their crop.
The Emmet County Board of Supervisors Tuesday agreed to pay that amount - roughly $1.50 over cash price - for standing snow fences. The idea is that the county doesn't have to buy fence and pay county road crews to put up snow fence -which can be pretty expensive in itself.
"It doesn't look like things are going to be dropping off any this fall," county engineer Roger Patocka said of corn prices, noting that the county paid $7.50 a bushel last year. Farmers have the option of waiting until spring to pick their corn or pick it by hand provided they leave the stalks standing. Patocka said some farmers could make up to $1,000 under the program.
The board also discussed the possibility of paying farmers to leave tall stubble just below the ear, but made no decision at this time.
In his road report, Patocka said work had started on the A34 concrete patch west of Ringsted. He also said gravel trucks hauling from the Egeland pit were slowing down after having received dust complaints.
Patocka said crews were mowing, cleaning ditches, stockpiling ice sand, edge rutting and doing maintenance on bridge rails. He said quotes had also been received on replacing the Gruver garage door and that final inspection was being done on the snowplow truck.
Patocka said he had also discussed with county attorney Doug Hansen the closing of the Swan Lake dam road which would leave one landowner landlocked. Patocka said Hansen had said the county was under no obligation to provide access to the property.
Patocka also reported on his meeting with Iowa Department of Transportation officials who proposed that the county take over maintenance of Highway 4 north of Estherville to the Minnestota line. Patocka said the DOT was proposing that Emmet County take over maintenance for $1,050 per mile a year and $950 for winters only, making a total yearly reimbursement of $14,000 to $16,000.
When supervisor Tim Schumacher asked what it would cost the county, Patocka said that depended on snowfall.
"It's not a win deal" for the county, said supervisor Ron Smith.
Patocka said IDOT officials said they would be willing to look at the county maintaining Highway 15 too.
Smith noted the local cost of snow removal would exceed the IDOT's statewide average.
Seana Godbold also met with the board regarding Tuttle Lake conservation projects.
The board approved a $7,698 bill for the Tri-84 project. Also approved was a request from the Downtown Market to use the south Courthouse lawn 3-7 p.m. Sept. 22.