The Cass County Board of Supervisors received an update on a bridge project near the Griswold Golf Course during their meeting this (Wednesday) morning. Rich Hansen, Assistant to County Engineer Charles Marker, said bid letting on the Baughman Creek Bridge on 560th Street is tentatively set for April 21st. In the interim, there are plans to purchase the Rights-of-Way on either side of the bridge, which will be 138-feet long and 30-feet wide. Survey plats are also being drawn-up.
The bridge will cost about $600,000, with 80-percent coming from the Bridge Replacement funds, and 20-percent a local match. It’s not clear when work on the bridge will begin. That will be determined after the bid letting is complete. Right now, the bridge is only capable of handling single-lane traffic weighing no more than 3-tons.
In other business, the Board kicked-off the 5-year Hazard Mitigation Planning (HMP) process, upon hearing from Community Development Specialist Jason Ehrig Paige, who is in charge of writing the plan for Cass County. Hazard Mitigation is defined as any sustained action taken to reduce or eliminate the long-term risk to life and property from hazard events, especially those related to weather. It’s an on-going process that occurs before, during, and after disasters and serves to break the cycle of damage and repair in hazardous areas.
Paige said a series of initial public meetings have taken place or will be held throughout Cass County, with the last meeting set to take place in Griswold, next month. The next step will be to develop strategies, goals and actions for each jurisdiction to include in their plan, such as the construction of safe rooms, purchase generators, or to take other action to reduce risks to their communities.
It will be up to the communities then, to implement those strategies. A HMP is required in order to obtain funding from FEMA following a disaster, in addition to a local match, which usually consists of volunteer hours in attending meetings and services. The current HMP was created in 2010. The plans expire every 5-years.