Supervisors approve plans for Green Valley Bridge replacement, make appointments to various county boards and commissions

by Joe Moses

The Allamakee County Board of Supervisors met in regular session Wednesday, December 27 due to the Christmas holiday being observed both on the board's regular Monday meeting day and the following day, December 25 and 26. The board addressed a full agenda of items including the Fiscal-Year 2019 Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) funding request, the consideration of appointments to County Boards and Commissions and the approval of the Green Valley Bridge plans.

Chairperson Larry Schellhammer called the meeting to order with the current agenda and meeting minutes of December 18 being approved. During Public Comment, Jane Regan with Upper Iowa Insurance provided an overview of Allamakee County's Workers' Compensation insurance and discussed that a dividend check for $16,673.00 has been issued to the County.

The Supervisors moved into the Fiscal-Year 2019 RSVP funding request with RSVP Director Kathy Barloon providing an overview of the program. Barloon explained that during the 2016-2017 grant year, the program had 333 volunteers with 31,601 hours of service at a value to northeast Iowa of $721,530.55. Barloon discussed RSVP's services that include or assist with the AARP Tax Aide Program, Red Cross and Life Serve Blood Drives, food pantry, home delivered meals and working one on one with children in Head Start and pre-school and K-12 schools. Barloon requested $2,000 for the 2018-2019 budget year, which the Supervisors will consider.

The Supervisors reviewed and approved the 2017 Historic Preservation Commission annual report. Allamakee County Auditor Denise Beyer indicated that the Commission's new Chair Gloria Payne has prepared the report, which is a yearly requirement allowing the Preservation Commission to be eligible for State grants.

The Manure Management Plan update for Saffron was accepted and placed on file by the Supervisors. The Supervisors also discussed setting meeting dates for budget work sessions, agreeing upon times in the afternoon January 8 and the mornings of January 9 and 10.

The Supervisors and Beyer reviewed and discussed tax abatement requests involving a structure that no longer exists and a deceased individual. The Supervisors approved the tax abatement requests.

The Supervisors tabled the next agenda item involving appointments to County Boards and Commissions with plans to address the item later in the meeting and moved into the discussion of the County Courthouse water softener. Marc Otting with Culligan of Waukon discussed issues with the Courthouse's current water softener and a replacement price quote of $5,493.40 that includes a CTM 210 water conditioner, meter, 3/4" vacuum breakers, brine tank and aqua sensor and removal of the old system and installation of the new system.

Courthouse Head of Maintenance John Roe briefly discussed that review of the maintenance budget would be needed, but he believed that this cost would be within the current budget. The Supervisors agreed to take no action at this time and to discuss the item at an upcoming budget meeting.

The Supervisors moved into reviewing the Green Valley Bridge plans, with Allamakee County Engineer Brian Ridenour discussing the joint agreement with the County and City of Waukon involving State funding. Ridenour explained that the necessary permits and easements have been received for the project, which involves a pre-cast arch span bridge design. The Supervisors approved the Green Valley Bridge plans.

The Supervisors convened into a closed session to discuss strategy with the County Bargaining Representatives for upcoming collective bargaining negotiations between Allamakee County and the Secondary Roads Unit and the Sheriff's Department Unit. This closed session is specifically authorized pursuant to Section 20.17(3) of the Code of Iowa and is exempt from Chapter 21 requirements.

The regular session reconvened with the consideration of appointments to County Boards and Commissions. The Supervisors reviewed the applications that were received, approving Betty Hogan to the Board of Health, Nancy Walleser to the Board of Adjustment and reappointing Jack Knight to the Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission Board. Two appointments to the Conservation Board were approved, including Jeannie Carroll to a five-year term and Jesse Delaney to fill the remainder of Dennis Blocker's term ending January 1, 2022. The Supervisors agreed to address other Board appointments at their next meeting.

Under Department Head updates, Allamakee County Conservation Director Jim Janett invited the Supervisors to attend an event and lunch honoring Dennis Blocker's involvement with the Conservation Board immediately following the January 2 Supervisors meeting and prior to the 1 p.m. Conservation Board meeting.

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