Supervisors pass Social Host Ordinance, revise speed limits near petitioned Lansing intersection

by Joe Moses

The Allamakee County Board of Supervisors met in regular session Monday, September 25 to address a full agenda of items, including the Second Reading of the Social Host and Civil Cost Recovery Ordinance, consideration of several appointments and reappointments to County Boards and Commissions, and the revision of speed zones on County Roads X42, X52 and Columbus Road near Lansing. There was no Public Comment during that portion of the meeting.

The Supervisors moved into the Second Reading of the Social Host and Civil Cost Recovery Ordinance, with the Third Reading being waived. The Supervisors unanimously voted to adopt the ordinance which holds parents or individuals accountable for allowing alcohol consumption by those underage on their property and charges for the cost of the emergency and law enforcement response with a fine of $500 for the first offense and $750 for a second offense. SPF-SIG Coordinator Maxine Grotegut of Allamakee Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP) expressed her support of the ordinance and thanked the Supervisors for their work on the matter.

A request for tax suspension was discussed by the Supervisors, Allamakee County Auditor Denise Beyer and Allamakee County Treasurer Lori Hesse. Beyer read aloud the letter received from an Allamakee County property owner requesting the suspension of property taxes due to medical expenses and discussed policies used by other counties. Hesse outlined the income requirements for the Iowa Property Tax Credit, which Supervisor Dan Byrnes recommended as an option in this case. Schellhammer advised that a line of communication needs to remain open and that the individual's request is not being denied at this point. No action was taken, with the Supervisors encouraging the individual to continue with the process. The development of a policy for tax suspension was also briefly discussed.

The Supervisors discussed the creation of an advertisement to sell old inventory items from the office space formerly occupied by the Allamakee County Sheriff's Office in the courthouse. The Supervisors discussed the language to be used in the advertisement and the items in the list prepared by John Roe, head of maintenance at the Allamakee County Courthouse. The Supervisors requested that an advertisement be created by The Standard for consideration and approval at the October 2 meeting.

The end-of-fiscal-year financial statement of the First Judicial District Department of Correctional Services was accepted and placed on file.

The Supervisors moved into the consideration of appointments and reappointments to County Boards and Commissions. Beyer advised that Marcia Rush has submitted her resignation from the Allamakee Historic Preservation Commission so that she may serve on the Pioneer Cemetery Commission. Frances Schager, Daryl Hansmeier and Theresa Gallagher were appointed to the Allamakee County Historic Preservation Commission. Colleen Gregg was appointed to the Planning and Zoning Commission and Brian M. Mahoney was appointed as Rural Library Representative for the Robey Memorial Library Board.

Allamakee County Zoning Administrator Tom Blake presented a plat request for Doris and David J. Anderson, who are surveying off a section of land for a potential sale. Blake advised that the Plat Review Board recommended approval and the Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval with the condition that it remain under common ownership. The Supervisors approved the plat request.

Blake also discussed the plat request by Northfork Recreational Territories, Inc. indicating that 4.5 acres will be surveyed off to sell to an adjacent property owner that will create a 5.6 acre lot, which was approved. Blake discussed the Tracy E. and Darcy A. Dibert plat request indicating that timberland and an old farm site are being surveyed off to be sold and that the Planning and Zoning Commission has recommended approval subject to an easement to allow suitable access for an adjacent lot. The Supervisors discussed that the easement language needs to be added to the plat for review at the next meeting. No action was taken on the matter at this time.

Allamakee County Engineer Brian Ridenour discussed the revision of speed zones on County Roads X42, X52 and Columbus Road near Lansing. Ridenour advised that a petition was received with signatures of 14 parties that claim to have been affected by the noise from rumble strips near stop sign intersections on some of the indicated roads. Ridenour advised that these rumble strips were examined and they are the appropriate depth and spacing with removal not a favorable option, rather opting for adjustment of the speed limits for a gradual decrease that should lower noise levels. Ridenour outlined the spacing of speed limit signage and discussed the potential use of portable and permanent solar-powered speed signs to increase awareness. The Supervisors approved to revise the speed zones on County Roads X42, X52 and Columbus Road.

Under Department Head Updates, Ridenour advised that full depth pavement patching by Skyline Construction is ongoing, rumble strips are being cut into several roads, and grinding was completed on County Road X52 by the power plant. Ridenour discussed the status of interviewing for a maintenance position with the Secondary Roads Department. Beyer discussed upcoming elections.

The Supervisors advised that the October 2 meeting will take place at the Postville Public Library and discussed other potential visits in the Postville area.

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