Supervisors proclaim November 12-18 as Tobacco Awareness Week, hear update on local search efforts

The Allamakee County Board of Supervisors proclaimed November 12-18 as Tobacco Awareness Week at its Monday, October 30 regular meeting. In attendance to discuss and witness that proclamation were: Left to right - Front row: Waukon High School students and SWAT (Students Working Against Tobacco) youth group members Tanner Mitchell, Abe Schwartz, Reed Kelly, Carson Wille and Luke Pladsen, and Helping Services for Youth and Families Prevention Specialist Jennifer Kimber. Back row: Allamakee County Board of Supervisors members Dennis Koenig, Larry Schellhammer and Dan Byrnes, and Helping Services for Youth and Families Tobacco Prevention Specialist Laura Albert. Standard photo by Joe Moses.

by Joe Moses

The Allamakee County Board of Supervisors met in regular session Monday, October 30 to address a full agenda of items, including the Tobacco Awareness Week Proclamation, setting a time and date for sealed bids for three dump trucks and discussion of the Pioneer Cemetery Commission. There were no public comments.

Prevention Specialist Jennifer Kimber and Tobacco Prevention Specialist Laura Albert with Helping Services for Youth and Families were present with a group of Waukon High School students to address the Supervisors regarding the Proclamation of Tobacco Awareness Week and the Great American Smokeout. Waukon High School student Abe Schwartz read aloud the proclamation detailing the dangers and statistics relating to tobacco use and secondhand smoke and that the proclamation calls upon individuals, businesses and organizations to raise awareness of tobacco issues. The Supervisors declared November 12-18 Tobacco Awareness Week.

Allamakee County Zoning Administrator Tom Blake presented a subdivision plat request for Schams Farms LLC, which was reviewed and approved by the Supervisors. A Manure Management Plan update for Devin Humpals Site #2 was accepted and placed on file.
Allamakee County Environmental Health Director Laurie Moody discussed the Environmental Health Quarterly Report, which was accepted and placed on file. Moody said that grant funds allowed for the trapping and testing of mosquitoes in a variety of locations and that the results did not show any sign of the breed that carries the Zika virus.

The Supervisors moved into discussion of the Pioneer Cemetery Commission. Allamakee County Auditor Denise Beyer informed the Supervisors that an individual that has expressed interest in leading this effort has communicated that she temporarily will be unable to do so. The Supervisors agreed to put the matter on hold and that the need for volunteers on the Pioneer Cemetery Commission will be advertised.

Supervisor Dan Byrnes opened and read aloud sealed bids for items remaining in the Allamakee County Courthouse fourth floor office space formerly occupied by the Allamakee County Sheriff's Department. Three bids were received for three separate items. Luke Steiber of Lansing bid $75 for a safe, Mary Severson of Lansing bid $30 for a Lite-On VHS DVD player and Letha Folsom bid $35 for the electric typewriter with manual. The Supervisors accepted the bids and bidders will be contacted.

Supervisor Dennis Koenig provided an update about a recent County Social Services (CSS) meeting. Koenig indicated that discussions relating to the requests to leave CSS from Worth County, Winnebago County and Hancock County have resulted in all three counties remaining part of CSS without any change.

Allamakee County Engineer Brian Ridenour presented a request to sell three tandem axle snowplow dump trucks by sealed bid including a 1994 International 4900, a 1994 Ford LT8000 and a 1995 Ford LT8000. Ridenour recommended 10 a.m. November 20 as the deadline for sealed bids, which was approved by the Supervisors.

Allamakee County Sheriff Clark Mellick discussed the annual maintenance agreement for heating and cooling units at the Public Safety Center and that Winona Controls Inc. of Caledonia, MN has proposed to handle spring and fall maintenance requirements. Mellick and the Supervisors agreed to table the matter for further discussion at the next Board meeting.

Under Department Head Updates, Moody discussed swimming pool inspections that have been completed and steps needed for improvement at specific locations. Moody discussed a section of Lansing that is not connected to the city sewer and water and potential issues that may result with new construction, recommending the Supervisors stay involved in the matter.

Mellick discussed the ground search near the Fish Farm Mounds State Park located along State Highway 26 south of New Albin that continued over the weekend for a missing person and that canines were again used with nothing found. Mellick discussed that the vehicle used by the missing person will be returned to a sister that is also the owner or someone with a bill of sale that is purchasing the vehicle.

Mellick also discussed the potential purchase of a drone to be used for searches and that $6,000 of the $8,900 cost has been pledged. Mellick discussed the thermal imaging capability used in conducting nighttime searches and that a claw or hook attachment can deliver a payload such as a radio, life preserver or rope. Mellick indicated that two deputies and two firefighters would be trained to operate the drone.

Allamakee County Emergency Management Coordinator Corey Snitker discussed a recent tour of the Agri Star facility in Postville with the Postville Fire Department and an upcoming Northeast Iowa Response meeting. Snitker also talked about an upcoming fire exercise to take place at the Postville Good Samaritan Center and that similar exercises have taken place at other care centers within the county. Snitker discussed the federal fiscal year starting in October and the status of several grants.

Ridenour discussed that Union negotiations will be beginning for the Secondary Roads Department and County Sheriff's Department and that he will be part of a road safety workshop at the County Engineer's office. Ridenour indicated that work continues on two bridge projects, one being constructed and the other being dismantled, and that concrete patching is ongoing near Harpers Ferry.

Beyer indicated that she is getting ready for elections and that absentee voting continues until the elections, with Waukon absentee voting continuing until 4 p.m. Monday, November 6 when the courthouse closes and other cities' absentee voting continuing until Tuesday, November 7 at 11 a.m. Beyer discussed that the next Supervisors meeting will take place at Robey Memorial Library in Waukon.

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