Hancock County Legislative Forums Discuss Drainage Codes

It was the grassroots level of government at its best on Friday as numerous Hancock County residents voiced their concerns to Iowa Legislators during a packed house forum held in Garner. One topic of discussion included expensive drainage district repairs.

Local landowners and drainage experts questioned the Code of Iowa 468.126 “Repair and Improvements” in relation to how it regulates the need for engineers on projects.

A code was established that employed engineers to determine the extent of the repairs. The code originally stated that at $7,000 or above, public hearings were required to approve repairs and cleanouts. The code has changed multiple times, increasing most recently to $50,000. Senator Dennis Guth expressed interest at possibly rewriting the code which would move the amount to $100,000.

One of the potential reasons why prices for repairs and cleanouts may be extremely high is due to an issue that Guth recently discovered.

Guth has learned that some engineering inspections could have been handled differently.