News Column

County OK with Evansdale's Dubuque Road plans

August 20, 2014

By Tim Jamison, Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, Iowa

Aug. 20--WATERLOO -- A road nobody seemed to want may finally be finding its way back into Evansdale.

Members of the Black Hawk County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to support Evansdale's request to annex Dubuque Road and incorporate it into the city's tax-increment financing district.

Evansdale Mayor Doug Faas said the city wanted to utilize the TIF to help finance bridge repairs on Dubuque Road.

"The court said we were responsible for the road repairs even if it wasn't in the city," he said. "But we found out the road and bridges needed to be in the city limits to use the TIF."

The two-mile stretch of Dubuque Road along the northern edge of Evansdale has been the subject of several disputes and legal battles since 1986, when the Iowa Department of Transportation transferred ownership to the city upon relocating U.S. Highway 20 south of the metro area.

The City Council voted in 1988 to "de-annex" the road assuming it would not longer be saddled with maintenance costs. The Iowa Attorney General said severing Dubuque Road from the city did not absolve the town of its maintenance responsibilities.

Evansdale would later lose court battles with neighboring Elk Run Heights in 1992 and 2000 related to bridge repair work on the road.

While Faas said the city would prefer to have someone else own Dubuque Road, the city was better off incorporating it into the TIF district so additional revenue is available for the bridge work.

County Engineer Cathy Nicholas said her office saw no reason the property should remain in the county while Assistant County Attorney Pete Burk said "this is a practical step" for Evansdale.

In other business, the supervisors voted unanimously to pay a $325 fine to the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals to settle a violation at the Country View care center.

Administrator Gregg Hanson said the citation was due to a failure to properly record a background check for a newly hired employee. The issue was corrected.

"We actually found it before the (state) surveyor came but it still had already happened," he said.


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Source: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier (IA)

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