Supervisors approve third reading, adoption of zoning ordinance amendment regarding residential development, discuss road program, solid waste plan

by Joe Moses

The Allamakee County Board of Supervisors met in regular session Monday, November 13 to address a full agenda of matters including the Third Reading of Amendment #13 to Zoning Ordinance L, consideration of the Resolution for the Solid Waste Comprehensive Plan and the consideration of a detour route for Waukon’s Lighted Holiday Parade. The meeting was called to order by Board of Supervisors Chairperson Dan Byrnes with Supervisors Mark Reiser and Dennis Keatley present.

Allamakee County Auditor Denise Beyer advised that the liquor license renewal for Wings in Dorchester was being removed from consideration at the meeting with the amended meeting agenda then approved by the Supervisors.

During Public Comment, Jack Knight noted his attendance at this meeting due to the Third Reading of Amendment #13 to Zoning Ordinance L. Knight and the Supervisors briefly discussed the potential federal government shutdown with Byrnes noting that State government and the County Court system will not be affected by that potential shutdown. Beyer advised that a federal shutdown may create longer delays relating to passport applications.

The meeting moved into the consideration of the Third Reading of Amendment #13 to Zoning Ordinance L. As noted in the meeting agenda, Amendment #13 to Zoning Ordinance L of Allamakee County relates to the addition of “Residential Development” as a permitted use in zones R-1 (Rural Residential District), R-2 (Low Density Residential District), and R-3 (Medium Density Residential District) and to define “Residential Development” as a tract of land divided into three or more smaller lots of minimum required size each, intended for the construction of a new dwelling on each lot, in compliance with the Comprehensive Plan.

Allamakee County Zoning Administrator Stephanie Runkle noted that no written or verbal comments have been received relating to the Third Reading of Amendment #13 with Knight adding that public input was accepted and used in the development of this amendment. The Third Reading of Amendment #13 to Zoning Ordinance L and adoption were approved by the Supervisors.

The meeting moved into the consideration of the Resolution for Solid Waste Comprehensive Plan. Allamakee County Solid Waste Manager Dave Mooney provided an overview of the comprehensive planning process with the County’s Solid Waste Comprehensive Plan to be updated and submitted to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) every five years. Mooney noted that this plan includes information and statistics countywide, excluding Postville, which is included in Winneshiek County’s waste and recycling district set by the IDNR. Mooney further noted that public input was received during this planning process through open meetings, surveys and social media with information being shared with each mayor and feedback being requested.

Mooney further discussed the comprehensive planning process which began in 1988 with the IDNR using those 1988 statistics as a baseline for comparison with a 25-percent reduction in solid waste being a mandate and a 50-percent reduction being a goal for all counties. Mooney noted that Allamakee County’s recycling and waste management programs have resulted in an approximate 40-percent reduction compared to 1988 statistics, a positive for the County’s waste reduction efforts.

Solid Waste Commission President Kim Welch was present at the Supervisors meeting to provide a signature on the final draft of the Solid Waste Comprehensive Plan to be submitted to the IDNR. The Supervisors approved the Resolution for the Solid Waste Comprehensive Plan.

Allamakee County Attorney Anthony Gericke addressed the next matter relating to the consideration of approving the increased amount of the Adobe software monthly charge on the County credit card. Gericke noted that the monthly charge for this software has increased from the budgeted $72.04 to $101.72. Gericke advised that he would be following up with Adobe relating to this cost increase to see if there any rebates or cost reductions possible at the current service level. Beyer noted that the $72.04 monthly charge had been approved in 2019. The increased amount for the Adobe monthly charge was approved.

The liquor license renewal for KKG Performance Horses was approved by the Supervisors.

The meeting moved into the consideration of the detour route for the Waukon Lighted Holiday Parade with Allamakee County Engineer Brian Ridenour providing an overview of the matter. Ridenour noted that the Waukon Lighted Holiday Parade is scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday, December 9, with a 6-7:30 p.m. timeframe noted in the detour request, with the traffic detour route to travel on portions of X12/9th Street and Iron Mine Drive and the parade planned to travel from the Allamakee County Fairgrounds on Allamakee Street turning west on Main Street at the stoplight intersection and proceeding through downtown. Following discussion, the Supervisors approved the detour route as presented.

Ridenour addressed the next matter relating to the consideration and discussion of adding road projects/funding to the Road Construction Program. Ridenour noted that this matter was added to the agenda to discuss possible five-year plan changes. Ridenour noted that regional federal funding to pave Maud Road, a farm-to-market route, has been applied for but may not be a possibility.

Ridenour further noted concerns relating to the significant investment associated with road grading and infrastructure in preparation of paving with this requested federal funding in doubt. He provided a recommendation to work more on pavements this fiscal year noting potential areas to be addressed including Forest Mills Road/X16 from Hwy 76 south to Yellow River Drive and the paved one-mile portion of Whalen Hill Road. He suggested that an 8’x8’ reinforced concrete box culvert on Lansing Harpers Road south of Lansing and north of Lafayette Ridge Drive is another recommended project to be addressed.

Byrnes noted that the Supervisors expect to hear back in early December from a consultant relating to County Courthouse building repairs and improvements anticipated to be funded through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Keatley and Byrnes advised that discussion could take place following that time relating to the possible use of excess ARPA funds for Road Construction Program projects.

Ridenour noted the condition of Power Plant Drive near the former Alliant Energy Power Plant with the proposed 100-megawatt (MW) battery/energy storage station and the resulting construction activity as factors to consider relating to when this resurfacing should take place. No action was taken by the Supervisors relating to these discussion matters.

Under Department Head Updates, Conservation Director Ross Geerdes noted upcoming events and activities including the Driftless Birding Festival Saturday, November 18 to include a presentation “Tundra Swans, an Icon of the Mississippi River” at the Driftless Area Education and Visitors Center in Lansing. Geerdes noted that the Driftless Center would be closed for the winter holidays observed by the County in contrast to other observed holidays that have limited staffing at this location. Geerdes noted that seasonal staff are done for the year and provided updates relating to several maintenance items including brush clearing, tree trimming and flood debris.

Mooney noted that the County Waste and Recycling Center was open through the Veterans Day holiday with it being a goal to be open to the public as much as possible. He noted that starting January 1, a small $5 fee will be necessary to recycle each flat screen TV.

Ridenour noted that work relating to asphalt road patching finished up last week with vacancies relating to an assistant mechanic and a maintenance person in Waukon being advertised.

Prior to adjournment, Beyer noted that the First Tier Canvass of the City-School Election will take place Tuesday, November 14 at 8:30 a.m. with the Second Tier Canvass to take place the following Monday. She further noted that preparations are being made for the Waukon City Council Election Run-Off December 5. Beyer noted that ballots are being ordered in addition to other preparations. She said that the Monday, November 20 Board of Supervisors meeting will take place at Robey Memorial Library in Waukon as part of the Supervisors’ annual schedule of library visits taking place within the county.