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Winneshiek County might be opening another highway garage

Posted: Mon, Jan 11, 2021 2:47 PM

Winneshiek County currently has seven highway maintenance shops located in Ossian, Castalia, Fort Atkinson, Ridgeway, Kendallville, Locust, and Freeport.  That number might be gorwing to eight in the future.

Winneshiek County Engineer Lee Bjerke says he's been in negotiations with the owner of some property which might make a good additional road shop.  "This would be a good site for us," he told county supervisors Monday.

The location and asking price for the property was not disclosed Monday because negotiations are continuing.  The site was described as being just under ten acres, with a building on the property which could be used to house the county's road equipment.

That's important, Bjerke told supervisors, because snow plows and other equipment are not meant to sit outside in the winter.  When the county's current road equipment sits outside overnight, it is harder to start in the morning.  "We need to get out earlier," said Bjerke.

He added that if the county is able to purchase the additional property, it would maintain its current seven shops, including the smallest shop on Locust Road.

"We've been looking for something for a long time," agreed County Board Chair Floyd Ashbacher.

Bjerke says he will get an appraisal on the estimated value of the property.