REED CITY — After approximately 20 years, the drainage pipe controlling the water level of Rose Lake needs to be replaced.

Osceola County Commissioners discussed the scope of the replacement project during their Committee of the Whole meeting Tuesday. Jerry Powell, county drain commissioner, gave board members a brief history of the pipe as well as what he feels needs to be done to fix the problem.

"The state built that 20 years ago," he said. "They put in corrugated metal pipe because it is cheap. Initially, when we lost ground (around a manhole there), I crawled in that pipe and the whole bottom of the pipe is rotted out. It's going to get worse. If (the pipe) fails and floods, the water is going to raise all the way around the lake. It'll go into the septic tanks.

"This pipe regulates the height of Rose Lake. What we need to do is replace that pipe with concrete, which is about 20 percent more expensive than corrugated metal. We could replace it with corrugated and 20 to 25 years down the road, we are going to have this same problem."

Powell suggested replacing the current pipe with a new concrete one, which he estimates would cost $70-$80,000. Powell said commissioners could apply for a grant to help pay for the project, or could create a special assessment.

"Certainly before we say, 'Yeah, let's get it fixed,' there are some preliminary things," chair Larry Emig said. "The (Department of Natural Resources) is a key player and we want to know their take on this. We want them to be assured we are going to do what their thoughts are on this, especially around the engineering part. The Rose Lake Association should be a player in this, in knowing what the issue is."

Emig said there is a long list of things to consider before deciding when and how the project should be done.

While no action was taken at the meeting concerning Rose Lake, County Coordinator Sue Vander Pol volunteered to research the pipe and what is needed from the DNR to have the pipe replaced.

Commissioners also heard from Scott Schryer, Commission on Aging director, about the status of the Marion meals and activity building.

"The last pieces of equipment, which hold up the inside, are supposed to be delivered tomorrow," he said Tuesday. "Monday we should move a step closer."

Schryer is hopeful the building will be open within the first week of June.

Commissioners also approved a community space agreement between the COA and the Osceola County 4-H/FFA Fair for a small section of COA property during the week of the Dulcimer Festival.

In other business:

  • Commissioners approved an Emergency Medical Services Letter of Student Expectations. Jeremy Beebe, EMS director, told commissioners a previously approved EMS packet was sent to the state level for review and was sent back for a few minor changes, including allowing EMS students to ride-along in the ambulance. A board motion is required for ride-alongs.
  • Commissioners approved the annual training for medical examiner Lisa Kaspariak, as well as an additional training for the Advanced Medicolegal General Symposium workshop.
  • Vander Pol gave an update on the VoIP system. All of the equipment has been ordered and should be online by the end of the month, she said.

Items needing action during the Committee of the Whole meeting were approved by officials at the Osceola County Board of Commissioners meeting, directly following the committee meeting.

The next Committee of the Whole meeting is slated for 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, June 6, at the Osceola County Courthouse.