Supervisors receive Makee Manor auction proceeds, discuss road issues

by Bob Beach

During the regular meeting of the Allamakee County Board of Supervisors Tuesday, September 9, auctioneer Mike Monroe presented the Board with a check for $49,410.90, the net proceeds from the auction held at Makee Manor Monday, September 8. Monroe reported that the sale was well attended, with 327 registered bidders throughout the day. All three members of the Board commended Monroe and his staff for a job well done.
Bob Palmer, Chief Ranger at Effigy Mounds National Monument, gave a presentation regarding County Road #170, which crosses land owned by the National Park Service within the National Monument area. Palmer said that the road was originally established in 1858 and that the County had classified it as "Class C" and stopped routine maintenance in 1997. He explained that the road is located in a sensitive area and that the Park Service has a duty to protect the cultural and natural resources there. The problem, he said, is that no one seems to know precisely where the road is now, or where it should be; he reported that on one occasion, a County maintenance crew strayed from the road approximately 1,500 feet into Park Service land.
County Engineer Brian Ridenour told the Board that reestablishing the road, even for the limited use of adjacent land owners, would require a huge commitment on the part of the County because of a complex permitting process that would require numerous archaeological and environmental impact studies and transplantation of endangered species, among other things.
County Attorney Jill Kistler suggested that the County may consider vacating the road if the National Park Service would agree to pay any damages claimed by the adjacent land owners who use portions of the road to access their properties. Palmer agreed to contact the Park Service to find out if that would be a possibility.

Ridenour also presented the Board with a letter from Jim Dyer, which included a check for $10,000 to contribute to the paving of a portion of Heytman Drive. Ridenour said that while he appreciates the money and the commitment to the project that it represents, the Board of Supervisors passed a resolution in 2003 requiring that donations towards paving projects total at least 65% of the project cost in cases where the road would not otherwise be considered a priority for paving. Ridenour also noted that Iowa law requires not less than 50% in "special assessments" in such cases. He estimated that the cost to pave the requested portion of Heytman Drive would be over one million dollars.
In other business, the Board set Tuesday, September 30 as the date and time for a public hearing and bid letting for the "Kicks Living Well with a Disability" building addition at TASC in Waukon. The Board also signed a letter committing up to $10,000 in in-kind donations and up  to $10,000 in matching funds towards a watershed project in the Turkey River watershed and other watersheds in the driftless area.