MAHASKA COUNTY — All the documentation paperwork for the Mahaska County portion Dakota Access Pipeline has been officially turned over to the Mahaska County Board of Supervisors.
Evan Del Val, an ISG inspector for the pipeline hauled in two boxes of documents and relinquished them with some relief. The supervisors have access to the paper documents as well as electronic versions.
The Dakota Access Pipeline project went smoothly, Del Val said.
“I think it went longer than anybody anticipated, which is why we’re here in 2019 and not 2017,” he said. “But at this point, it is our recommendation that the county closes it out, which I believe you’ve done, voted on that, so we’re going to hand over all of the documents that we compiled out in the field.”
Del Val said there were 148 total punch items identified within the county, all of which have been taken care of either through private land agreements through the pipeline or through mitigation out in the field.
“There was one notice of violation, but that also has been taken care of,” he said, “so there are no open items left in the county here.”
Mahaska County Supervisors Chair Mark Groenendyk said everything was wrapped up for the county, aside from a few inspection reports.
Oil has been flowing through the pipeline for 18 months, Del Val said.
“It’s fully functional. They were talking about an expansion to the pumps but nothing to the actual infrastructure through the counties,” he said. “I think Mahaska County has longest or second longest stretch in the state.”
The supervisors approved a 2.5 percent increase for elected officials with a strong understanding there needs to be more contribution from employees for their health insurance.
Mahaska County Supervisor Steve Wanders said he attended the recent compensation board committee meeting on Nov. 21. The board’s recommendation was a 3 percent increase across the board.
“They had a very good discussion. They met for about an hour, I think,” he said. “A lot of good points brought out. With our healthcare situation the way it is, it’s hard to know what to do next. “
It was a no-win situation, Wanders said, with the rising costs of health insurance.
The supervisors discussed some budget expectations for fiscal year 2020-2021. Multiple departments needed new computers recently and supervisors expects computer expenses to be removed from budgeting and there should be no additional expenses.
Other board business:
• The supervisors approved purchase of a tandem axel dump truck and snow plow package for the Secondary Roads Department, for a cost of around $210,000.
Managing Editor Angie Holland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter @OskyAngie.