Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

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February 11, 2014

Supervisors approve road aid agreement

Knoxville — The Marion County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution for a federal aid funding agreement for a project along G-40. 

The project is an overlay on Highway G-40 from Highway 14 to one-quarter of a mile west of 100th. The estimated cost is $1.6 million, and through the agreements with the State of Iowa Department of Transportation and the federal funds, $1.1 million of the cost will be covered. The remaining costs will come from the County's Farm to Market Road funds. 

County Engineer Tyler Christian said that the project is scheduled to be let in June. The DOT will determine the start date of the project and set a completion date. Christian was unsure of when the project can begin, nor when it is expected to be complete. Marion County will otherwise manage the project. 

In other board action, librarians from Bussey, Knoxville and Pella represented all of the libraries in the County in making an annual fund request. Since 2007, Marion County has provided $80,000 to the five libraries within its borders (excluding the Central College library). Each library receives a base amount of $3,000, with the rest distributed based upon usage. 

Circulation to rural residents, among the five libraries, was at 93,460 in 2013. Of that, Pella had the most with 58,863 or 63 percent. Knoxville had 25 percent, Pleasantville 8 percent, Melcher-Dallas 2 percent and Bussey 1 percent. 

County funding to each library was $38,750 to Pella, $23,800 to Knoxville, $9,500 to Pleasantville, $4,300 to Melcher-Dallas and $3,650 to Bussey. Though the $80,000 appropriated by the County has remained steady, usage of the libraries among rural residents has increased by 23 percent since 2007. City funding to these libraries has also remained flat, according to the librarians, but state funding is slowly increasing. 

The supervisors thanked the librarians for their presentation. Budget discussions are ongoing and the board did not provide any indication regarding its plans to continue to provide funding to the libraries, nor what level. 

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