Wapello County Courthouse

Courier file photo

OTTUMWA — Wapello County supervisors will decide next week whether to oppose bills in the legislature that would allow certain vehicles to exceed current weight limits on Iowa roads and bridges.

The bills, SSB1045 and SF184 would allow vehicles carrying loads of “raw forest products” to exceed weight limits. Opponents have raised concerns that the measures could accelerate the deterioration of roads and bridges.

Supervisor Jerry Parker said the bills “allow logging companies to go from 80,000 lbs to 130,000 lbs.” That’s a 62 percent increase in the weight. With aging roads and bridges already stressed, that’s a concern.

“Every county has bridges that are 50 years old or older,” Parker said. “This is to help those not get worse.”

Parker said it’s hard to say what effect the change would have on specific areas, since logging isn’t widespread in southeast Iowa. But logging companies will go to any property where the owner will allow them to take trees, meaning it wouldn’t just have an effect on counties with large forested areas.

Tuesday’s agenda also includes the final papers to move forward with a school resource officer with Cardinal School District for the 2019-2020 school year. Parker said those discussions began while former sheriff Mark Miller was in office.

The meeting is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at the third floor board room in the Wapello County Courthouse.

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