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New well planned next year at Eldred Sherwood Park in southern Hancock County

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Conservation Board Executive Director Cale Edwards on Nov. 7 updated Hancock County supervisors on a needed well project at Eldred Sherwood Park, saying that an application for a drinking water permit will be filed with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources soon.

Quotes from well drillers can be sought following the issuance of the IDNR permit. Edwards said that since it is not an overly large project, it should not require the use of a general contractor.

“There is no engineering estimate,” Edwards said. “The cost will be below any public hearing requirements, so that wasn’t included in the engineering for the planning.”

The hope is to have the new well in place at the park in late spring or early summer 2023. It will require new pumps that will tie into existing infrastructure as well as the capping of the old well. He said the state permitting is required as the park is considered as having transient facilities for the public’s use, much like rest stops.

“It’ll be closer to the campground now,” Edwards said. “It’s been at the other end of the park, so it’ll offer better opportunities to expand.”

He said the well is anticipated to be about 150 vertical feet. He said the existing system includes a small utility building that is close and should provide for an easy connection. Short Elliott Hendrickson, Inc. of Mason City is overseeing the project.

“We’ve at least got a plan and we’re moving forward,” Edwards said.

Eldred Sherwood Park is located off of County Road R66, 2185 120th Street, in rural Goodell. The 100 acre park includes a 21-acre manmade lake, campground with RV, and nature trail around the lake.

In his weekly report to the board, County Engineer Jeremy Purvis lauded county crews’ becoming more adept at using an excavator bucket extension chute. He termed it as a “mouse trap” and said that it is similar to what Crawford County has used for reaching rip rap and dirt work under bridges.

“Our design is a little different, but it should work out pretty good,” Purvis said. “You can get it, the rip rap, pretty good from both sides. It’s just that middle part where you may have to do a little hand tossing of rock.”

Purvis said Heartland Asphalt was done paving lanes as part of its late fall paving project on a number of county roads. Heartland paved Crane and Eden Avenues between U.S. Highway 18 and 225th Street. Purvis also provided an update on Heartland’s work to add three-foot paved shoulders on both sides of the road along County Road B55 (170th) between Quail and U.S. Highway 69 (Klemme curves).

“Overall, we should be done with the project this week and back open to traffic,” Purvis said.

Interim Maintenance Director Jake Schreur announced the hire of Matt Swanson as an assistant at a pay rate of $20 per hour.

“He’s qualified to do the job at the top end of the pay range we listed,” Schreur said.

Don Reffer of B&W Control Specialists provided information and price quotes for spraying the western one-third of county drainage ditches. He said that this year’s $94,000 total price quote was increased due to a myriad of cost factors, including substantial product price increases as well as higher fuel and labor costs. Last year’s total cost quote was $80,750 and the actual cost was just over $50,000. He said he would provide Drainage Clerk Ann Hinders and the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department with notice of spraying times and locations.

“Hopefully, the weather holds for us for another week,” Reffer said. “We should get those started sometime in the next week.”

Rob Hillesland is community editor for the Summit-Tribune. He can be reached at 641-421-0534, or by email at


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