Supervisors approve first reading of e-cigarette ordinance after no comments offered at public hearing

by Joe Moses

The Allamakee County Board of Supervisors met in regular session Monday, February 26 to address a full agenda of items, including a Public Hearing for the E-Cigarette Ordinance, the consideration of motor grader quotes and discussion of the Allamakee County Housing Study. Chairperson Larry Schellhammer called the meeting to order with approval of the current agenda and meeting minutes of February 19. There was no public comment.

The Supervisors moved into the Public Hearing for the E-Cigarette Ordinance, which prohibits the use of electronic smoking devices in public places. The hearing was opened and closed without any written or verbal comment. The first reading of the ordinance was approved with the second and third readings to be added to the March 5 Supervisors meeting agenda.

The first reading of the amendment to the Flood Plain Ordinance XXXIX Ordinance was approved, with Allamakee County Zoning Administrator Tom Blake indicating that changes to the ordinance have been made following a request from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to update the language and definitions to remain compliant with federal directives. Blake indicated that Allamakee County Attorney Jill Kistler has reviewed the amendment to the ordinance and that the changes were acceptable. The second and third readings will also be added to the March 5 meeting agenda.

Blake also presented a plat request by Michael F. and Linda K., Michael J. and Mark J. Manning and Marri M. Williams, indicating that a revised plat has been requested to allow a family member to build a house on the property. Blake indicated that the Planning and Zoning Commission and Plat Review Board have recommended approval. The Supervisors approved the revised plat.

Blake also discussed the plat request by Nelson and Twila Converse, indicating that the building site is being surveyed off to exclude a barn and that Planning and Zoning and Plat Review have both provided a recommendation to approve. The Supervisors approved the plat request.

Blake presented a plat request from Reicksview Family Farms to survey off a lower parcel to be sold to an adjoining landowner. Blake indicated that Planning and Zoning and Plat Review have recommended approval and the Supervisors were in agreement with their approval.

The Supervisors moved into the consideration of the Disallowance of Claim for Homestead Tax Credit and/or Military Exemption. Allamakee County Auditor Denise Beyer discussed that the stakeholder is now deceased and the property no longer qualifies for the Homestead Tax Credit. The Supervisors approved the Disallowance of Claim for Homestead Tax Credit as presented.

The Quarterly Report from Veterans Affairs was accepted and placed on file.

Executive Director Val Reinke of Allamakee County Economic Development (ACED) and Regional Planner Ashley Christensen with Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission (UERPC) provided an overview of the Allamakee County Housing Study. Reinke and Christensen discussed that this data and analysis will be beneficial for grant applications and will assist developers and stakeholders in developing strategies for housing rehabilitation and new construction to better meet the needs of residents and those wanting to relocate to the area. The Allamakee County Housing Survey data and analysis can be viewed at

Allamakee County Engineer Brian Ridenour and the Supervisors discussed bids received for the Green Valley Bridge project. Ridenour indicated that the Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the City of Waukon have given approval for the low bid received from Skyline Construction of Decorah at $597,917.09. The Supervisors also approved the bid from Skyline Construction.

Ridenour discussed motor grader quotes that were received from Martin Equipment of Dubuque and Ziegler CAT of Postville. Ridenour indicated that two motor graders are being considered for trade including a 2012 Caterpillar with 5,600 hours of use and a 2013 Caterpillar with 5,050 hours of use. The Supervisors allowed Jared Bucksa of Ziegler CAT and Tim Scherrman of Martin Equipment to each make a short sales presentation regarding their respective product lines.

Supervisor Dennis Koenig and Ridenour discussed the advantages of all-wheel drive (AWD), which may be considered in future motor grader purchases. Ridenour provided his purchase recommendations for a John Deere at $140,000.00 ($245,000.00 price with $105,000.00 trade-in) from Martin Equipment and a Caterpillar at $145,000.00 ($300,000.00 price with $155,000.00 trade-in) from Ziegler CAT, at a total of $285,000.00, which the Supervisors approved.

Ridenour discussed detour routes to be used for parades in Waukon, indicating that the IDOT will use Allamakee County Road A44 (Iron Mine Drive) and a portion of Ninth Street SW (X12) as a detour for parades in 2018. These include the St. Patrick's Day Parade - Sunday, March 18, the Memorial Day Parade - Monday, May 28, the Waukon Corn Days Parade – Friday, August 17 and the Waukon Holiday Parade – Monday, December 3. The Supervisors approved the detour routes for parades in Waukon.

Ridenour also discussed the plans for the Makee Drive paving, Irish Hollow Creek Bridge/A26 and Dorchester Drive Culverts/A16, which the Supervisors approved.

The Supervisors moved into discussion of radio tower agreements involving the site lease and tower lease. Allamakee County Sheriff Clark Mellick discussed that the County's communications equipment is a priority and that there are advantages and disadvantages of a shared radio tower. Ridenour estimated that the existing tower would be structurally sound for another ten years. E911 Director Chris Fee discussed technology upgrades relating to communications equipment and advantages with the existing tower's line of sight. The Supervisors will continue discussions with Alliant Energy and Interstate Power  representatives at a future meeting. No action was taken at this time.

Under Department Head Updates, Ridenour discussed recent weather-related road conditions. Mellick said that he will be part of an upcoming meeting with Veterans Memorial Hospital relating to mental health services. Mellick addressed concerns from the Supervisors relating to commissary accounts used by inmates to purchase items at the Public Safety Center. Mellick indicated that a different procedure needs to be put in place to reconcile commissary claims and that he will research and provide a recommendation.

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