Oskaloosa.com

Local News

February 5, 2013

Doland wins special election, sworn in as supervisor

OSKALOOSA — The Mahaska County Board of Supervisors canvassed the special election held this past week for a seat on the board and Mark Doland was declared the winner.

Doland faced off against Tom Rielly for the seat vacated by Ken Rozenboom, who was elected to the Iowa Senate. Doland will finish out the final two years of Rozenboom’s term.

Doland had a 16-vote lead over Rielly after this past Tuesday’s vote, but the status of about 65 absentee ballots made the outcome too close to call. After the canvass Monday, Doland had 1,398 votes to Rielly’s 1,377 votes — a 21-vote margin of victory.

Doland took the oath of office from Judge Randy DeGeest at the end of the meeting.

In other action, the supervisors approved a resolution for Mahaska County to withdraw from the Rural Utility Service System.

Supervisor Mike Vander Molen said RUSS does not assist any county residents with sewer service and the organization just sent the county an $8,000 bill.

Board Chairman Greg Gordy said the previous board of supervisors had several discussions about RUSS and had recently voted to pay $3,000 to RUSS — something he had voted against — and wanted the balance paid.

It is “a good move to withdraw from RUSS,” Gordy said. Wapello County is in the same situation as Mahaska County with regards to the RUSS — its residents also do not benefit from RUSS, he added.

The supervisors also discussed road improvements to County Road T-39 in preparation for RAGBRAI traveling through Mahaska County this summer.

County Engineer Jerry Nusbaum said the Secondary Road Department wants to put a 2-inch overlay on Indian Way, from Blom Corner to Beacon, on T-39.

Nusbaum said Indian Way is “structurally sound, but one of the roughest roads we’ve got.”

Gordy said that was the route RAGBRAI riders took through Mahaska County the last time they went through the area.

Nusbaum said this year, 12,000 bicyclists are expected to travel on the route.

“We have plans,” Nusbaum said. “We have estimated we have enough money that we don’t have to borrow.”

The project is estimated to cost $494,183.

The supervisors also approved the second reading of the General Relief Ordinance.

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Herald editor Duane Nollen can be reached by email at oskynews@oskyherald.com

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