Supervisors approve grant submission through ASAP, drone insurance coverage and road rock bids, authorize County Attorney to begin abatement of nuisance house in Waukon Junction

by Joe Moses

The Allamakee County Board of Supervisors met in regular session Monday, April 9 to address a full agenda of items, including the Fiscal-Year 2019 Iowa Partnerships for Success grant continuation, discussion of a nuisance house in Waukon Junction and consideration of road rock resurfacing bids. Chairperson Larry Schellhammer called the meeting to order with approval of the current agenda and meeting minutes of April 9.

Without members of the public in attendance, Allamakee County Environmental Health Director Laurie Moody discussed grant funding and budgeting during the Public Comment portion of the meeting.

The Supervisors moved into the consideration of submitting the Fiscal-Year 2019 Iowa Partnerships for Success Grant continuation. Coordinator Jean Bossom with Allamakee Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP) discussed the grant request of $87,007, slightly under the maximum allowed of $87,108. Bossom indicated that this request is an increase allowing some changes to be made with compliance checks and is a renewal for the final year of the grant. Bossom advised that the most recent compliance checks of establishments selling alcoholic beverages resulted in 100% compliance. The Supervisors approved to submit the Fiscal-Year 2019 Iowa Partnerships for Success Grant continuation.

The Supervisors reviewed Quarterly Reports from the Allamakee County Relief Office, Planning and Zoning, Sheriff Department and Recorder. All were accepted and placed on file. The Supervisors also reviewed Manure Management Plan updates from Herman Family LP, Red Ink Ranch, Churchwood and Schultz, which were accepted and placed on file.

The Supervisors moved into the consideration of drone insurance for the Sheriff’s Department’s search and rescue drone. Jane Regan with Upper Iowa Insurance Services discussed physical and liability coverage and Allamakee County Sheriff Clark Mellick discussed adding the training drone to the liability coverage. Regan indicated that $2 million in coverage would be in place for both drones. The Supervisors approved the insurance coverage for both search and rescue drones with $2 million in liability coverage.

The Supervisors discussed a nuisance house in Waukon Junction, with Allamakee County Attorney Jill Kistler providing an overview of the situation, indicating the owner of the nuisance property currently resides out of state. Kistler further discussed that the nuisance house was previously involved in the removal and rescue of 50 feral cats and has continued to be an issue due to an extreme odor and animals continuing to live within the house. Kistler indicated that a removal of animals and a controlled burn may be the best option due to the house’s condition being beyond saving and uninhabitable.

Mellick indicated that the nuisance house is a health hazard due to the amount of feces within the structure and that the involvement of the Board of Health may be in order. The Supervisors approved to authorize the County Attorney to file a petition to abate the nuisance house in Waukon Junction.

The Supervisors and Allamakee County Engineer Brian Ridenour discussed Secondary Roads Department transfers, with $40,449.37 being transferred from the General Fund and $472,958.30 being transferred from the Rural Fund, which the Supervisors approved.

Ridenour indicated that the road rock resurfacing bids received were correct as read at the April 2 Supervisors meeting for the 111,550 tons of road rock separated into four divisions with Division I (32,575 tons), Division II (22,230 tons), Division III (27,055 tons) and Division IV (29,690 tons). Ridenour recommended the bids received for all four divisions from Bruening Rock Products of Decorah with a per ton average of $9.96 and a total cost of $1,110,848.83. The Supervisors approved the bids received from Bruening Rock Products. Before moving to the next agenda item, the Supervisors and Ridenour discussed alternative methods of stabilizing roads and the possibility of viewing stabilization products that have been used on gravel roads in neighboring counties.

Ridenour also provided an overview of the Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) Fiscal-Year 2019 Secondary Road Budget and Five-Year Secondary Road Construction Program, which was approved by the Supervisors.

Under Department Head Updates, Moody further discussed nuisance abatement citing examples from Polk County, WI that might be avenues that Kistler may choose to explore regarding the nuisance house located in Waukon Junction. Mellick discussed continued work with the drone program and being in contact with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Mellick indicated that he sent a teletype to Black Hawk County regarding the use of equipment to assist in the search for a missing autistic child in the La Porte City area, and is waiting for a response regarding whether or not assistance is needed. Mellick also indicated that he has received information requests from other counties regarding direction on jail matters.

Allamakee County Emergency Management Coordinator Corey Snitker discussed that a full-scale training exercise with the Lansing power plant is scheduled for June 13 and that he is continuing to encourage participation in the railroad class, with 20 students being required. Allamakee County Auditor Denise Beyer indicated that ballots have been ordered in compliance with the Uniform Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) April 21 deadline.

Ridenour discussed that summertime part-time positions have been advertised for a scale person and laborer and roadside mower. Ridenour also discussed the Six-County meeting scheduled for later in the week and that the Health Insurance Committee will be meeting again due to its recommendation being postponed due to a quote delay from an insurance provider. Ridenour also discussed the study conducted on the Volney curve in southern Allamakee County containing suggestions and recommendations beyond current signage, which is at regulation.

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