Relief may be just around the corner for Waterloo residents who live in a subdivision accessible only by a county-maintained road.
At its Oct. 22 meeting, the Monroe County Board approved the jurisdictional transfer of a section of Country Club Lane from Road District 2 to the Monroe County Highway Department.
Monroe County Engineer Aaron Metzger told commissioners this change would allow additional funding from the highway department to be used for repairs and maintenance.
That section of roadway was the subject of safety concerns earlier this year from residents of Waterloo-annexed subdivisions off Country Club Lane who contacted county and city officials about dangerous conditions of the road and 90-degree turns in light of increased traffic in the area.
Since that section of Country Club Lane is not within the city limits, Waterloo cannot legally use city funds to improve a county-maintained road. However, residents of the subdivision do not pay taxes to Road District 2, which was the governing body of that area of Country Club Lane prior to this recent board action.
In May, Road District 2 said it did not have enough funds to completely fix the problem.
Also in May, Waterloo Mayor Tom Smith told concerned citizens that possible options to improve the roadway included creating a special tax district, which residents would not like, or annexing property along the road, which would be difficult and not feasible.
Residents of the subdivision were left with a problem that did not have a clear solution until the highway department applied for a Highway Safety Improvement Program grant in June. The grant funding would have been used to improve not only the condition of the road but also eliminate the multiple 90-degree turns on Country Club Lane by realigning the road and the connecting Rogers Street extension.
The highway department was not selected to receive this funding, but the change of jurisdiction may provide a solution.
Metzger told the Republic-Times that only “general maintenance” is planned currently, but a realignment project is “on the horizon.”
Another change in roadway jurisdiction was approved, although it will not be finalized until approved by the Waterloo City Council.
Responsibilities for a section of Rogers Street from Hamacher Street to an area just north of Benjamin Lane will be transferred to Waterloo from Monroe County.
As more homes are built and businesses have been established along Rogers Street, the area that was at one time mostly unincorporated agricultural use land has become annexed by the city.
This transfer reflects the fact that most of surrounding property is now within city bounds.
The agreement states that a bike trail bridge at the north end of the transfer area will be maintained by Waterloo while the bridge structure that supports Rogers Street will be maintained by Monroe County.
The agreement continues by stating “replacement or major rehab of either (the bike trail bridge or roadway bridge) shall be a joint venture by separate agreement.”
Metzger noted there is already an understanding between city and county work crews regarding snow removal, which is to not “touch someone else’s road.”
The Waterloo City Council will vote on the jurisdictional transfer at an upcoming meeting.