Supervisors discuss NRCS conservation plan with County Farm cropland bidders

by Bob Beach


The Allamakee County Board of Supervisors continued its discussion Tuesday, November 4 about changes to the lease agreement for cropland at the County Farm. Board Chairman Larry Schellhammer suggested requiring a deposit of $2,500 per year over the three-year lease term to give the County the leverage needed to ensure that the conservation plan to be added to the lease agreement will be followed. The Board agreed to table making a decision regarding the bids received for the cropland until the current bidders could review the conservation plan and modifications to the lease agreement and given the option to withdraw their bids.

The Board also held further discussions about the future of County Road 170, which passes through a portion of Effigy Mounds National Monument. Allamakee County Attorney Jill Kistler told the Board that while the platted location of the road differs from the currently traveled location of the road, the County owns the currently traveled road. She added that the road is designated as "Class C," which means that the County is under no obligation to maintain the road at all and that if the County were to vacate the road, the land underneath the road would revert to the current property owners - namely the National Park Service, Steve Nelson and Alex Shaefers.

Nelson and Shaefers said that they need the road to remain open and passable in order to access portions of their property. Jim Nepstad of the National Park Service said that the Park Service is bound by numerous federal laws to ensure that the road is where it legally belongs and that any maintenance on the road does not disturb the surrounding land, which contains protected and endangered species as well as ancient burial grounds within Effigy Mounds National Monument. The Board agreed to meet with the Park Service and the landowners Monday, November 10 to inspect the road personally.