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  • Writer's pictureCharlene Sims, Journal staff

County to reopen Pleasanton road shop following 2-1 vote

Updated: May 8

Two road graders will be move to the newly reopened Linn County road shop in Pleasanton follwing Monday's split vote. ((Journal file photo)

By Charlene Sims,

MOUND CITY – On a 2-1 split vote, the Linn County Commission decided on Monday, April 22, to reopen the road shop located in Pleasanton. 

Commissioners approved moving two road grader operators, one asphalt person and a mechanic to that shop under the supervision of asphalt foreman Tod Moeller. 

While this does not specifically fit the commission District No. 2 as it has in the past, Moeller would have the authority to install culverts, take roadway complaints, remove downed trees, and address signage problems and any other concerns. 

Commissioner Johnson, who voted against the measure, said that he preferred looking into one road boss for the whole county. 

Commission Chair Jason Hightower said that this step would not preclude the county from doing that in the future if the commissioners decided to do so.

Commissioner Danny McCullough said that he had talked with the two road foremen and they devised the plan.

“I think it was an amazing job. They put a lot of effort into it and I appreciate it,” said McCullough. “It made sense to me what they proposed, and Tod’s already a foreman and all his equipment is at Pleasanton anyway.”

County Public Works Administration Shaun West said that reopening the shop would create a new supervision area in his department.

McCullough, who represents the southeastern corner of the county, made the motion to transfer two grader operators to report to Moeller in the Pleasanton shop and to create a road maintenance district in that area in the public works system.

Johnson said he just thought that the commissioners were setting themselves up for more confusion.

Moeller said that, when it comes to anything that the area would need, he has talked to the other road foremen and they said that, upon his request, they would help with whatever that shop needs.

“So if rock needs to be hauled, it would be done as if I was pretty much in charge of it,” said Moeller. “It would come from their budget right now because of the way everything is set up.”

For the past several weeks McCullough has declined to vote on road equipment for the county until the Pleasanton district shop was reopened. He has repeatedly said that he receives many phone calls about the roads in that area because there has not been a shop foreman for people to talk with and a shop there for operators to work from.

The Pleasanton district shop was closed down in the fall of 2018 before McCullough was voted into office. McCullough took over District No. 2 commission post when former Commissioner Vicki Leonard stepped down in April of 2019.

In a phone conversation with Leonard, she said that she was very disappointed when other commissioners and the public works director at that time wanted to close the Pleasanton shop instead of hiring a new foreman in order to save money for the county.

She said that she felt like the other commissioners were set on doing it, but she convinced them not to vote on it but instead  just try it for awhile to see how it worked. So the was never a vote by the commission to formally close the shop.

Leonard said she kept track of the expenses of the road department, and it did not appear at that time that it saved any money.

Leonard said she was not in favor of closing the shop then, adding that people who did not live in that area did not realize what an effect it had on the community. She said that when people would call her about their roads, she had no foreman to direct them to and no foreman that she could call to have those problems addressed.

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