LSCP wins lawsuit against county

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Last week a judge ruled in favor of Little Sioux Corn Processors’ lawsuit against Cherokee County to pave a 3-mile stretch of F Avenue from County Road C-16 south to the ethanol plant.

Initially placed in the county’s 5-year roads program, the project was later removed after costs doubled and more pressing roads and bridge work was identified.

The Supervisors then approved the FY23-27 Secondary Roads Five-Year Construction Program as presented by County Engineer Sarah Tracy.

Tracy explained projects designated in the proposed Five Year Construction Program and emphasized that it is focused on replacing 24 bridges over five years with paving projects scheduled for C16, River Road, C66 and L51.

It was hoped at the time that the LSCP pending lawsuit against the county not threaten the projects as presented by Tracy. The F Avenue project was originally estimated by former County Engineer Brandon Billings to cost approximately $3 million, but after Tracy put a pen and engineer estimates to it, over time it ballooned to approximately $6 million.

Tracy and the Board reasoned other, more pressing road and bridge work must take priority for the good of all county rural taxpayers and residents. The Board had signed a contract with LSCP which was the basis for the lawsuit.

In a related matter, Tracy asked the Supervisors if the May 2022 bid letting for C16 HMA paving should be put on hold until the county receives a final determination on the LSCP-County litigation. Thats project was under way before the judge made her decision last week.

Tracy continues expressing concern that local projects may need to be delayed several years if all construction dollars are used on one project (F Avenue) that is not currently in the construction program.

The Supervisors maintain delaying road maintenance and bridge replacements will result in increased costs and further decline in the condition of roadways and bridges needing work and facing critical status.

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