THonline.com • Telegraph Herald • Friday, August 12, 2011
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County to continue bridge, road repairs Officials expect to restart a regular maintenance schedule — asphalt patching and driveway piping — next week. BY ERIC MANDEL
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In a way, it’s kind of lucky that so many immediate disaster needs must be met. Because, frankly, finding asphalt for local road repair was no easy task for a few days. Though the city’s only hot-mix asphalt maker, River City Paving, recovered from its own flood damage last week, many permanent repairs remain on hold. Meanwhile, the county is restoring roads with dirt, rock and gravel on a temporary basis. The county has not yet needed the more permanent asphalt, said Dubuque County Engineer Bret Wilkinson. “That’s not used until emergency repairs are done,” Wilkinson said. “That’s the way FEMA likes to see things happen.” One of the county’s seven main closures opened Wednesday afternoon, as county crews pushed gravel patches along Cedar Ridge Road — just west of Hales Mills — to make the passage drivable. The gravel stabilizes the asphalt and rocks, which days ago had been washed into a nearby bean field. “We’ll move onto the next one,” said equipment operator Pat Esch from his seat in an excavator Wednesday afternoon. Wilkinson said the road had been washed out four times in the last seven years. The historic July 27-28 storm downpour washed out the roadway in three separate spots, he said. “There will be more work in the area,” he said. “We’ll wait until we’re declared (by FEMA) and see if they can do a mitigation on the site to improve beyond what happened in this flood and prevent future damage.” Sites will be closed off and on as work continues, but only six longterm closures remain: bridges on
A Dubuque County road crew works Wednesday to repair Cedar Ridge Road, which was damaged in the
Dutch Lane, Hartbecke, Pitz, Pilot Grove and North Cascade roads and a culvert on Wuchter Road. Wilkinson said he hopes to replace all six structures with FEMA backing. Another major area of concern is the need for riprap, which stabilizes shorelines, bridge abutments and other structures. “We’re going to require an enormous amount of riprap to be placed around structures to secure creek and river banks in the county,” he said. “That is kind of under the same area as asphalt — for now, only if it is needed to save a structure or road. That will be a large project once debris is cleaned up and banks are shaped up.” While continuing with the flood work, the county expects to restart its regular maintenance schedule for asphalt patching next week. Though many driveway pipes in the county need attention, Wilkinson said those are a little lower on
NIKOLE HANNA • Telegraph Herald
July 27-28 flood. The county has six other closures that are not expected to be fixed in the near future.
the priority list. “We need to make sure that the roads and bridges won’t receive further damage if we get another inch or two (of rain),” Wilkinson said. “Some of the areas are susceptible right now.” Wilkinson said Iowa Homeland Security estimated a three- to sixweek waiting period to learn of either
acceptance or denial on potential funding. The Emergency Relief funding declaration — which only covers federal aid routes — would be a separate pool of money handling damage, replacement or repair. His rough preliminary estimate on county road repairs and fixes currently sits at approximately $3.2 million.
police reports Dubuque police and sheriff’s departments reported: • Gary Wernimont, 56, 1342 Forest Lane, was arrested Wednesday on a warrant charging second-degree sexual abuse. Investigators said Wernimont assaulted a female juvenile younger than 12 on Aug. 3. • Deondre Wilson, 18, 140 Loras Blvd., No. 4, was served a warrant while in the Dubuque County Jail at 5:15 p.m. Wednesday charging first-degree theft. Police said he stole a vehicle valued at $13,000 on Aug. 9. • Devonte Ellison, 16, 1600 Butterfield Drive, Apt. 232, was arrested on a warrant Wednesday charging second-degree robbery. Police said he stole a cell phone valued at $212 on Aug. 9. • Shannon Jontz, 42, Coggon, Iowa, was arrested Thursday morning on charges of OWI fourth offense, no insurance, driving the wrong way on a one-way street and driving while barred. • Steamatic, 500 Huff St., reported $5,569 worth of items, including two dehumidifiers valued at $4,390, stolen between Aug. 2 and Aug. 4. • G r ov e To o l s, 3 2 3 0 Dodge St., reported $550 in currency and a $2,000 carburetor stolen between 1:30 and 6:30 a.m. Wednesday. • Jennifer M. Pederson, 35, Columbus, Wis., reported two rings valued at $5,000 stolen from the Julien Dubuque Hotel between 9 and 10:45 a.m. Wednesday. • U.S. Cellular, 806 Wacker Drive, reported a $600 cell phone stolen between 5 and 5:45 p.m. Wednesday. • Yvonne M. Puccio, 35, 1258 Elm St., reported a $600 firearm stolen from her dresser between May 2008 and Wednesday.
Asbury set to accept bids for Althaus pond project The city hopes to re-beautify the wetland and nature preserve by early winter for $100,000. BY ERIC MANDEL
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ASBURY, Iowa — At the end of Wintergreen Drive, a few blocks north of Asbury Road, the circle trail surrounding the Althaus Wetland and Nature Preserve remains intact. So does the melodic screaming of insects and birds. But the once-scenic pond looks nothing like its former self. Overgrown by 6- to 10-
Education group names its top school board candidates The Dubuque Education Association has strongly recommended three candidates on its website for the Dubuque Community School Board election, which will be held Sept. 13. The group recommended former board member Tom Barton, Mike Donohue and Matt Strelo. The group also listed Doug Isaacson and Jeff Durdin as other candidates to consider. For the first time, 11 candidates will vie for four four-year terms on the board. The other candidates are current board member Larry Loeppke, former board member David Patton, Marvin Heiderscheit, Mike Hoskins, Lou Oswald and Tami Ryan.
Chamber of Commerce to host Schmooza Palooza The Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce’s “Schmooza Palooza” will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Au g . 2 5 , a t Pa r k Fa r m W i n e r y, 15159 Thielen Road in Bankston. Shuttle service will be provided. Call the chamber at 563-557-9200 to reserve your spot on the shuttle. The cost is $25 for members or $35 for nonmembers.
Part of the citywide trail system that connects to Maple Hills Park, the wetland area has remained in limbo since a storm in July 2010 compromised the dam underneath the bridge located on the preserve. FEMA denied a roughly $2,000 claim issued by the city for dam repair. Money for the project will come from a general obligation bond, which will be paid back through debt services, said City Administrator Beth Bonz. Besides the dam issue, Jacob Huck, an engineer with MSA Professional Services, said the bottom of the pond has built up years of silt and sediment that needs clearing.
Dredging will lower the base of the pond 2 or 3 feet to prevent cattail growth. A layer of riprap and rock around the pond also should help stabilize the soil. Once dredged, the pond should fill naturally from upstream, Huck said, with the city setting the levels at about 4 to 6 feet of water. The preserve usually is home to a large number of native grasses, cattails, a butterfly garden and native birds. “A lot of people use it,” said Asbury Mayor Jim Adams. “It’s a treasure that few cities have and we want to maintain and keep it looking great.”
weekend buzz NOTEWORTHY THINGS TO DO THIS WEEKEND IN THE TRI-STATES Potosi Firemen’s Catfish Festival
Summerfest 2011 Today, Town Clock Plaza Festival opens at 5 p.m. with food, drinks and music by The Legends. At 7 p.m., The R Factor performs. Admission is a free-will donation, with proceeds going toward the Education-to-Employment Grant program that supports students in the tri-state area going into skilled occupations. Call 563-5828804.
Today-Sunday, Tennyson (Wis.) Ball Diamond and Potosi (Wis.) Fire and Rescue Building The Potosi Jaycee Tractor Pull will be at 6:30 p.m. today. Beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, there will be a bean bag tournament, Dairyland Antique Tractor Pull, and LT amusements. At 6 p.m., there will be the Tri-State Truck and Tractor Pull. Food will be available and music at 8 p.m. both nights by DJ-Bode Mobile Music, all held at the ball diamond. At 10 a.m. Sunday, there will be a parade in downtown Potosi, followed by events at the rescue building. They include a catfish dinner, kids’ mini tractor pull, arts and crafts and music. Call 608-763-2261.
Market Square Arts Festival
Saturday, downtown East Dubuque, Ill. From 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., the Tri-States seventh annual Chicken Wing CookOff. This event includes all-day food vendors, free petting zoo, free inflatable rides, kids’ games, and live music by Boomtangle and Tastes Like Chicken. The cost is $5 for public wing tasting. At 5 p.m. a corn boil to benefit flood relief fund will be held. Call 815-747-6249.
Saturday, Mississippi Moon Bar, Diamond Jo Casino At 8 p.m. the Grammy-nominated blues/hard rock band Great White will rock the stage. This Southern California group’s hits include “House of Broken Love” and “Once Bitten, Twice Shy.” Special guest act is Adler’s Appetite, starring Steven Adler. Adler is best known as the original drummer of Guns N’ Roses. Tickets are $10 and $15 available at the Mississippi Moon Bar box office.
Saturday-Sunday, Old Market House Square, Galena, Ill. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Meet local Galena artists and regional artists showing original handmade artwork and crafts. The festival is a juried art and fine crafts fair featuring a wide variety of different arts and crafts. There will be live music and food available. Call 815777-1448.
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foot tall cattails, it would be a likely stunt double for the Field of Dreams. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen it this fully grown,” said Asbury resident Tom Lattner, jogging around the trail Thursday afternoon, noting that he much preferred the view of the pond. The city of Asbury agreed to move forward at a City Council meeting earlier this week in its mission to re-fill and re-beautify the 10-year-old pond, which has sat devoid of water for a little more than a year. The city plans to open for bids on Sept. 1, with completion of the project by early winter and an estimated price tag of $100,000.