July 19, 2024

Hay! Those bales may help

As Union County continues to clear snow from earlier this month off the roads, several comments, and items, have been found because of the ongoing work.

Secondary Roads Superintendent Al Hysell told the Union County Board of Supervisors Monday there have been comments made about the location, and number of, haybales placed near county roads that could prevent drifting of snow on the neighboring road. But it could also not help, either.

Other rural areas of the state have noticed if enough hay bales are placed about 300 feet from the road during the winter, the bales act as a snow fence and prevent snow from accumulating on the road. Hysell said that is a leigitmate suggestion, but placement of the bales and conditions of the storm may continue for snow to drift on the road. He noticed during the work how corn field stubble can also limit drifting compared to a soybean field.

With warmer temperatures forecast this week, Hysell said his crews will monitor the roads knowing how the wet conditions will create mud and other less than ideal conditions. More snow removed from the roads will help.

Ongoing snow clearing work has discovered two pickup loads of discarded tires found along county roads. Hysell said one pile of tires was found along Warbler Avenue, which is south of Thayer. Although there is nothing on a tire to suspect who had owned them, county officials may start legal proceedings if addresses, names or other identification information is found with items left along county roads or ditches that are intended to be taken to a landfill or picked up by a trash service.

In other supervisor news...

Representatives from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) informed the supervisors of their strategy to create an inclusive list of contractors who move dirt so landowners with plans to do NRCS programs have options.

NRCS provides assistance to land users for the planning and maintenance of a variety of conservation practices. Work can includes tree removal, erosion and improving areas with minimal vegetation. The NRCS offerings for the work has certain criteria to follow.

Supervisors met with representatives from mental health regions about a proposed merger that would make more counties contiguous with coverage. Southern Hills Regional Mental Health is made up of the counties of Adair, Adams, Taylor and Union. County Rural Offices of Social Services (CROSS region) includes the counties of Clarke, Decatur, Marion, Lucas, Ringgold and Wayne. Heart of Iowa has offices in Audubon, Dallas and Guthrie counties. The proposal would end the Southern Hills region.

Supervisors were hopeful any changes in the services would still have Union County residents be able to find services at least in Creston, preventing a lengthy, time-consuming drive. Representatives were confident Union County residents will still have access to services. Heart of Iowa has offered help to law enforcement agencies to handle mental-health related calls and with school students.

Although the merger is in the preliminary stages, supervisors were in consensus of the concept.

John Van Nostrand


An Iowa native, John's newspaper career has mostly been in small-town weeklies from the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi River. He first stint in Creston was from 2002 to 2005.