Supervisors accept $478K bridge bid, get update on opioid lawsuit

Thursday, March 1, 2018

The Clay County Board of Supervisors voted to approve the lowest bid for a bridge deck overlay and bridge floor repair project involving six county bridges during their meeting Tuesday.

Pam Doran, Clay County engineer’s office manager, shared the locations of each bridge in the project.

“One of them is going to be on B-17, it would be between 260th Avenue and 270th Avenue,” Doran said. “(Another) is on M-38 and that would be between 380th Street and 390th Street. There are two on B-24: one is between 140th and 150th Avenue, and the other one is between just east of 170th Avenue. (The final two are) on M-27 one between 340th Street and 350th Street, and the second between 410th Street and 420th Street.”

The board took three bids which varied widely. The highest bid came from Christensen Brothers, of Cherokee, in the amount of $818,775. The lowest bid, which was later adopted, came from Cramer and Associates, of Grimes, for $478,144.35.

Clay County Engineer Bill Rabenberg acknowledged the project might conclude “near harvest” depending on weather conditions during the repairs. He also shared the project’s funding source.

“We’re going to fund this with the local option sales tax dollars,” Rabenberg said.

Opioid lawsuit update

Barry Sackett, Clay County assistant attorney, shared an update surrounding the class-action lawsuit Clay County is a part of regarding the opioid epidemic. The lawsuit is still in the discovery phase, which allows for both parties to settle.

A hearing in February marked the formation of a mediation group of six attorneys.

“It sounds like the counties will be represented by one of the attorneys in that group along with someone from the state attorney general’s office, which was also involved in it,” Sackett said. “One other positive note (from the February hearing) is the manufacturers indicated that they understood there would be a financial settlement. That’s big as they could have denied any financial wrongdoing.”

Sackett said the mediation group would meet with the lawsuit’s judge in March.

“(It) seems like things are going well,” Sackett said. “There’s 46 counties in Iowa now involved. They’ve got a settlement group that I mentioned last time — they are meeting on the 10th of March with the judge to kind of get preliminary ideas about a settlement structure, so that’s all good.”

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