Supervisors discuss application policy for property tax suspension, among other items

by Joe Moses

The Allamakee County Board of Supervisors met in regular session Monday, February 5 to address a full agenda of items, including the appointment of Medical Examiner, Deputy Medical Examiner and Medical Examiner Investigator, discussion of setting a date and time for the Fiscal-Year 2019 Allamakee County budget and discussion of a tax suspension policy in Allamakee County. Chairperson Pro-Tem Dennis Koenig called the meeting to order in the absence of Chairperson Larry Schellhammer.

There were no members of the public in attendance. During the Public Comment portion of the meeting, Allamakee County Engineer Brian Ridenour discussed that the Secondary Roads Department was working to clear roads Sunday with additional snow forecasted this week.

The Supervisors moved into the signing of the revised Mediacom three-year agreement covering internet service and phone lines for the Allamakee County Courthouse. Beyer discussed some changes to the agreement since this item was last discussed at the January 22 meeting, relating to the Sheriff's Department phone lines no longer existing at the Courthouse after the department moved to the Public Safety Center. Beyer indicated that Mediacom has made the appropriate changes with a reduction in cost. Supervisors Dennis Koenig and Dan Byrnes reviewed the agreement and approved to sign the finalized version of the Mediacom agreement.

The Supervisors approved the 2018 appointment of Dr. David Schwartz as Allamakee County Medical Examiner. Deputy Allamakee County Medical Examiners will be Dr. Steve Perkins, Dr. Benjamin Nesseim, Dr. Andrea Venteicher, Dr. Benjamin Ross and Dr. Nicole Barbee, and Jeff Mitchell will serve as Allamakee County Medical Examiner Investigator.

Monday, March 12 at 9:40 a.m. was approved by the Supervisors for a public hearing for the Fiscal-Year 2019 Allamakee County budget.

The Supervisors moved into the discussion of the policy for applying for tax suspension in Allamakee County. Beyer provided several sample policies, with the Black Hawk County policy being discussed in detail. Byrnes indicated that some changes to the Black Hawk County policy's language would be advisable, with the section involving the evaluation of applications by an individual or designated board member being stricken, as these matters would be reviewed and voted upon by the Allamakee County Board of Supervisors.

Beyer discussed the poverty guidelines and application process used in the example policies and that if the property were to be sold, the purchaser or seller would be responsible for paying the suspended taxes, if there is no tax abatement. Byrnes suggested that these matters will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis using the guidelines with review of financial information. The Supervisors recommended that feedback from Allamakee County Treasurer Lori Hesse and Allamakee County Attorney Jill Kistler should be sought regarding the policy and application forms prior to approval. No action was taken at this time and Beyer indicated that this matter will be added to the February 12 meeting agenda.

Under Department Head Updates, Beyer discussed the February 6 special election in Postville and that she is working on finalizing budgets. Byrnes discussed the recent statewide Supervisors meeting and updates provided by the Iowa State Association of Counties (ISAC).

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