Board of Supervisors approves contract with University of Iowa for Hydrology Study in the Upper Iowa River Drainage District

by Joe Moses

The Allamakee County Board of Supervisors met in regular session Monday, August 28 to address a full agenda of items, including the submission of the Iowa Partnership for Success Grant renewal application, a contract with the University of Iowa for a Hydrology Study in the Upper Iowa River Drainage District and the consideration of bids for the replacement of the French Creek Bridge on Mays Prairie Road. There were no members of the public present and no public comments spoken or read.

The Supervisors moved into the submission of the Iowa Partnership for Success Grant renewal application. Coordinator Jean Bossom with Allamakee Substance Abuse Prevention (A.S.A.P.) discussed that this is year four of this five-year grant. Bossom further explained that with the Iowa Partnership for Success Grant, A.S.A.P. is able to work with the Allamakee County Sheriff's Department and Waukon Police Department in conducting compliance checks at establishments selling alcohol, as well as working with the Allamakee County Attorney's Office in increasing fines and establishing ordinances making landowners responsible for expenses incurred for calls relating to underage drinking and parties requiring ambulance and law enforcement response. Bossom advised that the goal of the grant is to reduce underage drinking, with the Supervisors approving the submission of the renewal application.

The Supervisors discussed the reappointment of Leonard Althouse as a Postville Library Board member, which was approved.

Allamakee County Zoning Administrator Tom Blake presented five plat requests for the Supervisors to review and approve. The first of those was for Steven L. and Patricia M. Scholtes, who have requested to survey off 35 acres of land to sell while retaining the property to the east of their home. Joseph C. Teff has requested that two acres be added to his one-acre lot containing his house and Leo Manning has made a request to build a house further back on a portion of tillable land in relation to an existing house also on his property. Robert A. and Kristi M. Hager have requested to have two three-acre buildable lots on the hillside approved near the Upper Iowa Resort and Campground for possible future development. Thomas and Joyce Cota made a plat request for three parcels relating to various building and other uses. Following review, the Supervisors individually approved each of the plat requests that were presented.

The Supervisors discussed the County Farm Lease Termination Letters that will be sent to the current leasees of farmland owned by Allamakee County. Supervisor Dennis Koenig verified with Allamakee County Auditor Denise Beyer that the letters will be sent by certified mail. The Supervisors approved the County Farm Lease Termination Letters.

Allamakee County Engineer Brian Ridenour discussed the bids received for the replacement of the French Creek Bridge on Mays Prairie Road. Ridenour discussed the three bids and recommended the low bid of $501,833.35 from Brennan Construction of Lansing, which was below the engineer's estimate. The Supervisors approved the bid from Brennan Construction for this project to be completed next year.

Ridenour also discussed the contract with the University of Iowa for a Hydrology Study in the Upper Iowa River Drainage District. Ridenour advised that this proposed study is the result of the recent field meeting regarding Morgan Bridge with landowners in the drainage district and that this is a standard contract with the University of Iowa at a cost of $9,630, with the Upper Iowa River Drainage District contributing 25% of the cost. Ridenour advised that several scenarios will be investigated, including increasing the levy height near the upstream end of the Gary Weymiller property, modifications to the existing culvert upstream of Morgan Bridge Road, installing a culvert that will drain the Hitchins and Weymiller properties to the Upper Iowa River downstream of the roadway and other potential solutions that may become apparent from the results of this analysis.

Board Chairman Larry Schellhammer, Supervisor Dan Byrnes, Koenig and Ridenour discussed budgeting and funding for this study. Emergency Management Coordinator Corey Snitker discussed the need and usage of this study from a mitigation standpoint. The Supervisors approved the contract with the University of Iowa for a Hydrology Study.

Under Department Head Updates, Snitker discussed the Presidential Declaration for the windstorm and flooding that occurred in July. Ridenour discussed his estimate of tree damage, the clean-up process and reporting to FEMA, even when the County may not qualify for assistance. He said those reports provide accurate totals for the State, which then benefits counties more severely affected by these weather events in qualifying for funding.

Ridenour also discussed applications received for open positions and the John Deere facility tour in Davenport that will take place Tuesday, August 29. Beyer discussed that notices will be forthcoming regarding the Union recertification elections that will take place this fall. Beyer also noted that City candidates will be filing in the County Auditor's office with elections to take place November 7.

The next Board of Supervisors meeting will take place Tuesday, September 5, due to the Labor Day holiday Monday, September 4. That meeting will be held at the Waterville Public Library in Waterville.

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