Supervisors discuss accessibility to courthouse, proposed half-marathon from Harpers Ferry to Lansing in 2018

by Joe Moses

The Allamakee County Board of Supervisors met in regular session Monday, July 17 to address a full agenda of items, including the discussion of handicapped signage, a proposed half marathon and relay running event, and quarterly reports for Planning and Zoning and the Relief Office. Chairperson Larry Schellhammer called the meeting to order.

The Supervisors moved into Public Comment, with Allamakee County Emergency Management Coordinator Corey Snitker offering to provide a presentation at the July 24 meeting regarding the Des Moines Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI) safety plans and protocols for Allamakee County, including plans for severe weather, emergency shelters, railroad safety, law enforcement, medical and fire safety. The Supervisors discussed their recent tour of the Agri Star meat and poultry facility in Postville.

Quarterly reports for Planning and Zoning and the Relief Office were accepted and placed on file. Allamakee County Zoning Administrator Tom Blake presented a plat request for Dale A. Raddatz, who is requesting a section of his property to be surveyed for sale to the Iowa National Heritage Foundation. The Supervisors approved the plat request for Raddatz.

The second plat request for Dave E. Fish, Sr. was removed from the agenda earlier in the meeting and is being added to the meeting agenda for next week. The liquor license renewal for the Knotty Pine Tavern in Dorchester was approved.

The Supervisors moved into discussion of signage for handicapped parking. Allamakee County Auditor Denise Beyer discussed the need for signage directing those needing a handicapped accessible entrance to the south side entrance of the Allamakee County Courthouse. Supervisor Dan Byrnes suggested that the cost for making the north side entrance to the courthouse handicapped accessible should be researched with some changes to the entrances at the courthouse likely in the next few years. No action was taken at this time.

Amanda Hess addressed the Supervisors concerning a proposed half marathon and relay running event to take place in October 2018. Hess discussed that the half marathon and relay route would be from Harpers Ferry to Lansing and involve stations every two miles supplying water, with a 10K event starting at the half marathon's mid-point. Hess advised that there would be a four- to five-hour course limit and that in the first year, she would like to see over 200 participants and continue to grow this as an annual event.

Allamakee County Engineer Brian Ridenour advised that he had been contacted several months ago by Hess and that planning a year in advance is helpful. Ridenour discussed some options including using the paved shoulder portions of the proposed route and the request to close the road, which may be an option if this event were to grow far beyond the initial 200 participants.

Executive Director Val Reinke of Allamakee County Economic Development expressed support for the event and complimented Hess for her planning and taking the lead with this event. Schellhammer expressed that the Board of Supervisors supports the event and would like to see this become an annual event that will become an attraction like other half-marathons and competitions, bringing people into Allamakee County.

Under Department Head Updates, Allamakee County Sheriff Clark Mellick advised that he has been in contact with Midwest Construction Consultants regarding a plumbing issue affecting a restroom toilet near the administrative office and lobby area in the new Public Safety Center. Mellick said that a ten-foot section of pipe will be replaced to repair a portion damaged during construction, which will be covered under the building's warranty.

Mellick also discussed that the Sheriff's Department is preparing for RAGBRAI and the Allamakee County Fair. He also said that there was an ATV accident on private property Sunday, July 16 that involved an injury.

Ridenour discussed the letter from John Deere in Davenport regarding the Supervisors' request for a facility tour. Of the suggested dates provided by Ridenour, John Deere has requested August 17 for the tour.

Ridenour also advised that road projects are continuing involving asphalt and crack sealing, and that rock is being applied near New Albin. He also said he is continuing to work on the Makee Drive plan. Ridenour advised that Senior Project Manager Lyle TeKippe with Fehr-Graham Engineering is working on the Green Valley Bridge design and discussed the state funding available.

Ridenour also advised the Supervisors of his conversation with Residential Manager Jon Reeg of the West Union Correctional Facility and the possibility of utilizing inmates for part-time summer help, which would be more costly than the use of inmate labor at the former Luster Heights facility.

Emergency Management Director Snitker discussed the long-term parking for RAGBRAI that will benefit Lansing and that his RAGBRAI safety presentation is being added to next week's agenda. Allamakee County Environmental Health Director Laurie Moody advised that she and representatives of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will be visiting the EB Ag facility Thursday, July 20. Beyer discussed the Auditors' Summer School program.