Pipeline inspection payment questioned by board
f a pipeline inspector is hired for the proposed Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline project, and the project fails to proceed, who gets stuck with the bill?
That question, and others, are currently being considered by the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors as it ponders options regarding inspection services for the proposed project.
While the supervisors have yet to make a determination, and have only received a proposal for inspection services from LT Leon Associates, Inc. of Des Moines, Supervisors Chair Mark Peterson brought up the item for discussion, as he has fielded questions from constituents regarding who foots the bill if action is taken for the project and it doesn’t proceed.
“We need to determine who would pay for services rendered if we hire an inspector and there’s no project. With everything going on, I’m looking for direction as to whether we continue a search for a firm, or if we take a wait and see approach,” Peterson stated.
Supervisor Mike Olson proposed that Peterson contact Montgomery County Attorney Drew Swanson regarding the matter.
“Maybe we need to do a little research, and have him check and see if we would have to foot the bill in a situation where we hire a firm, and then the project doesn’t go through,” said Olson.
Supervisor Donna Robinson said she had recently attended a meeting at the Iowa State Association of Counties, and following that meeting, she contacted the supervisors in Crawford County, as they had already awarded a contract to an engineering firm in Denison.
“I received a reply back from Crawford County, and they said they are being very cautious as to what they do, as opposed to just jumping in and making decisions. I would be glad to email them again and ask them who would be responsible for the work if they do anything and the pipeline project doesn’t go through,” Robinson advised.
The supervisors took no further action, and information from Crawford County, as well as County Attorney Drew Swanson, will be discussed at an upcoming supervisors meeting.
The supervisors also discussed amendments to the county employee handbook. County Auditor Stephanie Burke said she was looking at sending any proposed amendments to the department heads for further input.
Supervisor Mike Olson was in agreement that the department heads should be allowed to offer input on the handbook changes. The supervisors also wanted to review the handbook themselves and then make any proposed changes. The changes will be discussed at one of the May meetings by the supervisors.