Supervisors discuss NRCS conservation plan with County Farm cropland bidders

by Bob Beach

During its regular meeting Tuesday, October 28, the Allamakee County Board of Supervisors met with Sara Berges of the Natural Recourses Conservation Service (NRCS) and several of the bidders for cropland at the County Farm. Berges explained that NRCS had developed a conservation plan to be attached to the County's lease for the cropland, which includes establishment of waterways and headlands, a corn/soybean rotation and some restrictions on land use.
All of the bidders present (Lynn Stock, Dave Einck and Steve Stortz) approved of the conservation plan and none wished to withdraw their bids. Supervisor Dennis Koenig expressed disappointment that the other bidders (Maury Regan, Paul Regan and Brian Stortz) had not been present for the discussion. Stock told the Board that in order for the higher bidders to make money, they would need to "mine" the farm for the three-year lease term in order to turn a profit, which would ultimately decrease the value of the land in the future.
The Board agreed to table a decision on the award of the lease contract until its next regular meeting. The Board also signed a three-year lease agreement with George and Ed Bieber for the pasture land at the County Farm for $8,500 per year (the Biebers were the sole bidder for the pasture land).
The Board also met with Coordinator of Disabilities Services Kim Waters, who asked for and received the Board's permission to advertise for a full-time Case Manager (35 hours per week, possibly increasing to 40 hours depending on the case load). She explained that recent resignations left two part-time positions vacant, which would be replaced by one full-time Case Manager. The Board also accepted Waters' recommendation to withdraw from Case Management and Mental Health Disability Services, as the same services are now provided through County Social Services.
In other business, Environmental Health Director Laurie Moody told the Board that she had received the Department of Natural Resources' inspection report on the sewage treatment lagoons at the Makee Manor site. She said that the system had passed the inspection but that inspections and maintenance records would need to be kept up to date if the lagoon system is to be used for the planned public safety center. The Board also accepted and placed on file the Veterans Affairs quarterly report.