Supervisors seeking public input on four-way stops on Autumn Road

Tobacco Awareness Week proclamation ... The Allamakee County Board of Supervisors proclaimed November 11-17 as Tobacco Awareness Week at its Monday, October 29 regular meeting. In attendance to discuss and witness that proclamation were: Left to right - Front row: Helping Services for Youth and Families Prevention Specialists Jennifer Kimber and Ashley Havenstrite. Back row: Allamakee County Board of Supervisors members Dennis Koenig, Dan Byrnes and Larry Schellhammer. Standard photo by Joe Moses.

by Joe Moses

The Allamakee County Board of Supervisors met in regular session Monday, October 29 to address a full agenda of items including the Tobacco Awareness Week Proclamation, setting a date for the 2019 Driftless Half-Marathon and an update from the Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission (UERPC). Chairperson Larry Schellhammer called the meeting to order.

During Public Comment, SPF-SIG Coordinator Maxine Grotegut with Allamakee Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP) took a photo of the Supervisors holding the Social Host Ordinance to fulfill a requirement of a grant. Executive Director Val Reinke with Allamakee County Economic Development (ACED) discussed the November 19 Board of Supervisors meeting which will take place at the Robey Memorial Library in Waukon with a possible industry visit to follow at Aveka Nutra Processing. Supervisor Dennis Koenig also provided an update on the County Social Services (CSS) region.

Tobacco Prevention Specialist Ashley Havenstrite of Helping Services for Youth and Families discussed the Tobacco Awareness Week Proclamation which encourages businesses and organizations to create or update tobacco policies to not only include traditional smoke tobacco but also include chewing tobacco and electronic smoking devices. Havenstrite discussed work with youth groups and an education project involving tobacco statistics stickers which will be attached to milk cartons for the Waukon High School and Middle School. Havenstrite read aloud the Tobacco Awareness Week Proclamation including statistics illustrating the negative impact of tobacco with 54% of children ages 3-11 being exposed to second hand smoke and 41,000 people dying each year as a result of second hand smoke in the United States. Havenstrite explained that 1,300 children in Iowa under the age of 18 will become new daily smokers, which is down from 2,100 annually. The Supervisors approved November 11-17 as Tobacco Awareness Week.

Amanda Hess discussed the 2019 Driftless Half Marathon and provided an overview of the 2018 event. Supervisor Dan Byrnes, Schellhammer and Allamakee County Emergency Management Coordinator Corey Snitker indicated that the 2018 Driftless Half Marathon went well with Hess advising that there were 187 finishers with 220 registered runners. Hess indicated that based on feedback and reviews online, the event was well received with most likely to participate again, and that steps are being taken to establish a non-profit organization with proceeds to be donated to various community groups and causes. Hess provided a recommendation to set October 12, 2019 for the next Driftless Half Marathon, which was approved by the Supervisors.

Allamakee County Auditor Denise Beyer presented the Quarterly Report for the Auditor’s Office, which was accepted and placed on file. Beyer also indicated that Allamakee County Sheriff Clark Mellick has requested to adjust the start date of Dispatcher/Corrections Officer Laura M. Jones from November 11 to November 4 to allow Jones to be part of a training session taking place prior to the previously approved start date. The Supervisors approved the adjusted start date of November 4.

Allamakee County Weed Commissioner Laurie Moody provided an overview of the Weed Commissioner’s Report discussing trends including wild cucumber this year with wild parsnip being a bi-annual likely to have a greater impact in 2019, similar to the impact in 2017. The Weed Commissioner’s Report was accepted and placed on file.

UERPC Executive Director Rachelle Howe provided an update on the organization’s activities involving the Postville sewer system and wastewater treatment facility, New Albin wastewater treatment facility, and continued work with economic development organizations in three counties including ACED, revolving loan funds, the Allamakee County Comprehensive Plan and Hazard Mitigation Plan. Howe indicated that UERPC staff have a passion for public service and are diligent in coordinating programs and are good stewards of program funding. Howe also discussed UERPC’s economic impact.

Allamakee County Engineer Brian Ridenour discussed the resolution to install stop signs at a few County road intersections involving Old Rossville Drive at Autumn Road, Red School Road and Jefferson Road. Ridenour provided historical data for the intersections indicating that a field review has been conducted with all having sufficient visibility. The Supervisors and Ridenour discussed that making these intersections all four-way stops would create consistency and eliminate confusion, which has created some near-miss incidents as two-way stops. The Supervisors decided to wait two weeks to make a decision on this matter to allow the public to provide input.

Ridenour provided an overview of quotes received for a 2020 tandem axle dump truck for the Secondary Roads Department discussing transmission options including manual, ultra-shift and automatic, as well as models by Western Star, Freightliner and Mack. The Supervisors approved the low bid of a Western Star 4700 SF dump truck with a manual transmission at $110,968.00 from Truck Country of Decorah.

Under Department Head Updates, Ridenour indicated that sand hauling is ongoing and that work continues putting in culverts. He also discussed several maintenance projects and provided an update on the Green Valley Bridge project, which has experienced some delays due to anchor bolts not being included in the pre-cast portion of the bridge while having been part of the agreed upon plans and drawings. Ridenour indicated that a solution to the mistake could possibly be in place within the next week.

Snitker discussed the weather forecast with precipitation likely later this week. Snitker advised that a hazardous materials symposium is coming up which he will be attending and that a hazardous materials tabletop exercise is being scheduled.

Beyer indicated that in-person absentee voting will be available at the County Courthouse this Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Beyer also discussed election preparation and procedures following the election. Beyer recommended a special meeting for the Election Canvass to take place November 14.

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