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Webster County sups discuss recreation, jailers

Conservation seeks approval for agreements of OHV Park

May 11, 2011
By LINDSEY MUTCHLER - Messenger staff writer , Messenger News

The Gypsum City off-road vehicle park is scheduled to expand from 300 to 800 acres.

The park is located southeast of Fort Dodge off 220th Street and Quail Avenue. It is currently maintained by the Department of Natural Resources.

However, that's changing.

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Supervisors meeting

Matt Cosgrove with the Webster County Conservation Department offered a proposal to the Webster County Board of Supervisors at its Tuesday meeting for a 28E agreement regarding park maintenance with the Conservation Department and the DNR.

"In the past, they have had an agreement between the DNR, the Webster County Improvement Cooperation and the Webster County Wheelers for maintenance activities at that park," Cosgrove told the board. "The DNR is kind of changing with the changing of the governor. ... They're looking for alternatives."

The proposed change would place the Conservation Department in charge of hiring seasonal employees for the park who would be under the department's direction.

"We would provide oversight and administration of the employees," he said. "They would provide equipment, fuel, all those sorts of things."

The employees would work from May 15 to Nov. 30 at this time, which Cosgrove said would be a period to evaluate the working relationship between the entities and if consider changes if necessary.

An oversight committee would examine long-term maintenance plans for the facility as it expands.

Supervisor Clark Fletcher asked how the work fits into the Conservation Department.

"It's a nice way to grow our program," Cosgrove said. He added the department hopes to have a campground in the area to generate some additional dollars.

The board unanimously approved the maintenance contract, and also approved Cosgrove request to hire shared natural resource technician.

The position will work at the OHV park, landscape for the city and work on water trails for the county. The position would be paid for through an administrative fee the Conservation Department charges the DNR for maintenance activities at the OHV park.

"It would make the job more attractive and make it easier for us to recruit an employee for a longer period," Cosgrove said.

The board also approved a contract with DNR for shared naturalist services. The position's salary is split evenly between the DNR and the county.

In other business the board met in closed session to discuss the employment of Webster County Jail correctional officers while the jail undergoes repairs. The session was about 45 minutes long, and supervisors spoke with Webster County Jail Administrator Steve Elifrits and Webster County Sheriff Brian Mickelson.

After the meeting, Fletcher made a motion to accept the staffing recommendations for the jail as listed by the jail administrator during the repair project. No details were revealed.

Supervisor Bob Singer noted that the board took into account the cost of various proposals while still maintaining a safe environment for the jail employees, inmates and citizens of Webster County.

The board also approved:

Contact Lindsey Mutchler at (515) 573-2141 or



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