Supervisors discuss August 9-12 Bible Reading Marathon, hear update on Waste Comprehensive Plan

by Joe Moses

The Allamakee County Board of Supervisors met in regular session Monday, July 9 to address agenda items, including the Bible Reading Marathon to take place on the Allamakee County Courthouse lawn, the contract and bond for concrete pavement patching and an update regarding the Comprehensive Plan for the Allamakee County Solid Waste Department. Chairperson Larry Schellhammer called the meeting to order with approval of the current agenda and meeting minutes of July 2.

During Public Comment, rural resident Kyle Johnson discussed the aging telephone infrastructure and problems with cell phone reception in rural Allamakee County. Johnson described the lengthy telephone service repair times lasting multiple days to over a week as being a public safety issue affecting families and the elderly. Johnson has received feedback from others dealing with similar issues in Allamakee County following a Facebook video he created that received over 6,000 views where he discussed cell phone and landline problems.

The Supervisors moved into the consideration of the Bible Reading Marathon on the Allamakee County Courthouse lawn, with organizers Mary Keatley and Kristi Hager in attendance. Hager indicated that the Bible Reading Marathon will take approximately 80 hours to complete, that August 9-12 has been scheduled for the event and that a generator might be an option for supplying power.

Supervisor Dan Byrnes discussed that the Board of Supervisors may not need to approve this matter since this falls within the right to assemble. No action was taken by the Supervisors. Hager and the Supervisors discussed the use of a tent with Byrnes recommending that Hager contact Allamakee County Emergency Management Coordinator Corey Snitker about borrowing a tent again for this year’s event.

The Quarterly Reports for Planning and Zoning and the Relief Office were accepted and placed on file.

Allamakee County Solid Waste Manager Dave Mooney provided an informational update regarding the Comprehensive Plan for the Allamakee County Solid Waste Department. Mooney indicated that this plan is submitted every five years and this plan and reporting process dates back to 1988 with a requirement of 25% waste reduction between then and now, which has been achieved and exceeded with an approximate 35-40% waste reduction level for Allamakee County. Mooney also discussed various waste avenues for plastic, metal, cardboard, appliances and electronics.

The Supervisors moved into the consideration of the contract and bond for concrete pavement patching, with Allamakee County Engineer Brian Ridenour discussing the low bid received from Skyline Construction, Inc. of Decorah at $89,549.43 for concrete patching countywide. The Supervisors approved the contract and bond with Skyline Construction.

Under Department Head Updates, Ridenour discussed some legislative changes effective July 1 that have been conveyed by the Iowa State Association of Counties (ISAC) regarding how bridges are to be rated. Ridenour indicated that road rock continues to be put down with ditch cleaning and mowing continuing. He also advised that there is some bridge debris still needing to be addressed.

Allamakee County Courthouse Head of Maintenance John Roe indicated that a roof leak in the County Recorder’s office has been repaired, work will continue with air conditioning units later in the week and that Kelly Concrete will be providing an estimate for work to be done in the County Courthouse parking lot. Roe also discussed coordinating courthouse lawn mowing to take place prior to the Bible Reading Marathon scheduled for August 9-12.

Allamakee County Auditor Denise Beyer discussed e-mail communications received regarding an upcoming half-marathon and questions relating to permitting. Ridenour added some information regarding the planning of the event and that a meeting will take place with the event organizer to help coordinate with Emergency Management, other departments and officials.

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