County approves first phase of Roosevelt Bridge work

The Roosevelt Bridge will be getting a facelift soon.

The county board accepted a $1.15 million grant for the first of two phases of a project to renovate the historic bridge, which dates back to 1934.

The board had voiced concerns about the county’s liability due to the bridge’s grade, which is steeper than would be allowed under standards for a bridge built today.

However, County Attorney Kristen Nelsen said the county has no more risk of getting sued due to the bridge than on any other road, because people will speed on any road.

In fact, Nelsen said the corrections will reduce the county’s risks.

The total project is expected to cost about $3.6 million, but only about $800,000 would be local dollars. About $2.1 would come from federal dollars, and about $800,000 would be from state bonds.

Though it may seem like a high amount, Public Works Director Mike Hanson said the local cost of $800,000 would be on par with a regular bridge. The higher amounts come because of the historic nature of the bridge and restoration work.

Hanson said the work should add 50 to 75 years of additional life to the bridge.

Bike trail moves toward Rose Creek

The Shooting Star Trail is pedaling ahead.

The county board accepted a $369,000 bid by Rochester Sand and Gravel to continue work on the Shooting Star Trail from Adams to Rose Creek. The county previously received about $500,000 in funding from the county board earlier this year.

Cemetery in county’s hands — for now

A local cemetery should be looking good well into the future.

The county board voted Tuesday to take over upkeep of Prairie View Cemetery — for now.

The county agreed to take over care of the cemetery, which had been abandoned, with the intent to find another community group, like a Boy Scout troop, to do the maintenance. County officials will also talk to the Rose Creek Township board.

Father Ruben Spinler, of St. Peter’s Church in Rose Creek, had been volunteering his time to care for the cemetery. But Spinler brought his concerns to the county board because he soon won’t be able to care for the cemetery due to his age.

Spinler had said he believed the county board would be responsible if no one is able to care for the cemetery.

However, Mower County Attorney Kristen Nelsen said the board is not legally obligated to care for the cemetery. Nelsen said the Prairie View Cemetery Association owns the cemetery, but clearly abandoned it years ago.

Still, it looks as though someone will care for the once-abandoned cemetery, as the county board plans to find a willing group.

Even though no one has been buried at the cemetery since roughly 1939, Spinler and the board will look for ways to keep up the property.

The property was neglected and overgrown when Spinler and another parishioner began maintaining it.

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