Supervisors hear request for committee meeting in regard to ATV/UTV use on County roads in Yellow River State Forest, approve hiring of new Dispatch/Corrections Officer

by Joe Moses

The Allamakee County Board of Supervisors met in regular session Monday, September 23 to address a full agenda of items including a Revolving Loan Fund application, the hiring of a full-time Dispatcher/Corrections Officer and the Public Hearing for the Allamakee County Fiscal-Year 2020 budget amendment.

During Public Comment, Dennis Blocker with the Allamakee County ATV/UTV Club discussed setting up a meeting with a committee comprised of a few individuals from both sides of the issue relating to allowing ATV/UTVs on County roads within Yellow River State Forest. Board of Supervisors Chairperson Larry Schellhammer indicated that he would contact Allamakee County Attorney Anthony Gericke relating to proposed changes to the ATV/UTV Ordinance. Schellhammer said that both opinions relating to the use of ATVs within Yellow River State Forest are known and that the county attorney will be consulted relating to how best to move the process forward.

Supervisor Dan Byrnes advised that an informal meeting with one supervisor in attendance would be recommended. Executive Director Val Reinke of Allamakee County Economic Development (ACED) agreed to assist in facilitating this meeting and would be contacting the Friends of Yellow River State Forest group. Reinke agreed that the ACED conference room could be used as a meeting place.

Reinke discussed the Future Ready Iowa meeting to take place at the Norplex-Micarta facility in Postville later in the week with Supervisor Dennis Koenig indicating that he may be able to attend if this is not in conflict with a County Social Services (CSS) meeting taking place that same day. Reinke discussed recent events taking place within the county, including the Northeast Iowa Farm Crawl.

Before moving into the next agenda item, Schellhammer requested that The Standard provide a correction on a matter incorrectly reported in the September 18 edition relating to the September 16 Board of Supervisors meeting. During that meeting’s discussion of the ATV/UTV Ordinance and the request to allow ATV/UTV use on County roads within Yellow River State Forest, Schellhammer was incorrectly quoted in the meeting article as receiving 38 emails relating to this matter with 26 in favor of allowing ATV/UTV use and 12 being opposed to changing the existing ordinance. Schellhammer had actually stated in the meeting that 38 emails were received with 12 in favor of allowing ATV/UTV use and 26 being opposed to changing the existing ordinance.

The Public Hearing for the Allamakee County Fiscal-Year 2020 budget amendment was opened. Allamakee County Auditor Denise Beyer provided an overview of the adjustments listed in the budget amendment and indicated that no comments have been received. The Public Hearing was closed. The Supervisors approved to adopt the Fiscal-Year 2020 budget amendment and approved to adopt the appropriations resolution for the Fiscal-Year 2020 budget amendment.

Allamakee County Zoning Administrator Tom Blake discussed the Second Reading of Amendment #3 to Zoning Ordinance L, which he indicated involves the rezoning of a small residential subdivision southwest of New Albin from agricultural to low density residential (R2). The Second Reading of Amendment #3 to Zoning Ordinance L was approved. Monday, September 30 at 9:40 a.m. was set as the Third Reading of Amendment #3 to the Zoning Ordinance.

The Supervisors moved into the review of several plat requests. The plat request by Lawrence Donahue was approved, as was the plat request by George L. and Belva M. and Larry J. and Lisa C. Ashbacher. Blake indicated that the Planning and Zoning Commission and Plat Review Board have recommended that the Richard Sullivan d/b/a Northeast Iowa Land Co. and Kenneth N. and Judy Yvonne Pladsen plat request be tabled due to concerns relating to the access width. The Supervisors decided to take no action on this matter. The Ralph L. and Kathleen J. and Robert R. and Kandice D. Hammel plat request was approved.

Reinke reported that a Revolving Loan Fund application by Advanced Engineering Technology (AET) of Waukon has been received with the loan being used for a building expansion. Reinke discussed that the Revolving Loan Fund Committee has met and has recommended approval by the Board of Supervisors. Reinke further discussed that the loan would be in the amount of $40,000 at an interest rate of 1.25% for a three-year term with an option to renew for another three-year term. Byrnes discussed his involvement as a member of this committee. The Supervisors approved the Revolving Loan Fund application.

The Manure Management Plan update from Ahlstrom Hollow Site was accepted and placed on file. The Supervisors moved into the consideration of Certificates of Adjustment with Beyer providing an overview of the various adjustments. The Supervisors approved the Certificates of Adjustment.

Allamakee County Sheriff Clark Mellick provided a recommendation to hire Justin Bullerman as a full-time Dispatcher/Corrections Officer. Mellick further advised that Bullerman is currently a student at Hawkeye Community College pursuing a degree in Police Sciences and, if hired, would be completing his studies online. The Supervisors approved the hiring of Bullerman as Dispatcher/Corrections Officer with a starting date of Tuesday, October 1 at a wage per Union contract.

Beyer provided an overview of the next agenda item involving the Public Safety Center 9-1-19 pay request, indicating that charges relating to Winona Controls for labor involved in repair work and See Electric for the installation of a video camera are the final pay requests associated with the Public Safety Center construction project. The Supervisors approved the pay requests as presented.

Under Department Head Updates, Mellick discussed assisting the Decorah Police Department with a matter Friday, September 20. Mellick provided an update on a golf event that will benefit his department’s K-9 Unit scheduled for October 19 with several prize and monetary donations having already been received from businesses within the county.

Allamakee County Engineer Brian Ridenour provided an update on the 6-County meeting scheduled for this Thursday in St. Olaf. Ridenour discussed ongoing flood repair projects including the cleaning up of debris from various inlets and culverts. Ridenour indicated that all major roads are open and further discussed current road conditions.

Allamakee County Emergency Management Coordinator Corey Snitker provided updates on several upcoming meetings. Snitker reported that a public building security briefing will take place next week in closed session. He also discussed that an upcoming meeting with involvement from Iowa’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management divisions is scheduled to address recovery planning to follow disaster situations with additional workshops to follow that week. Snitker also discussed recent and upcoming events within the county.

Blake provided an update on a variance appeal to the Board of Adjustment involving a building height on Blue Heron Lane in Lansing. Blake indicated that the Lansing power station has contacted him regarding necessary repairs to riprap areas around ponds that have flood and erosion damage, which he indicated would be allowed without additional permits based upon the previously approved structures involved. Blake also discussed a matter involving two property owners and a driveway culvert replacement, which has raised concerns about the potential for increased water flow.

John Roe, Head of Maintenance at the Allamakee County Courthouse, discussed a potential purchase of a lawn tractor with a snowblower attachment. Beyer discussed the recent filing deadline for the combined city/school elections with that listing having been put together in preparation for creating ballots.
Ridenour discussed a recent update from the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) about the Black Hawk Bridge replacement in Lansing. Ridenour indicated that an alternate route is yet to be defined and that the new truss will mimic some characteristics of the old truss. Ridenour also discussed that the decorative lighting on the bridge will need to be moved with the cost not being covered by the DOT. Ridenour also indicated that Highway 9 from Waukon to Lansing is scheduled for resurfacing next summer with the Lansing Black Hawk Bridge scheduled for replacement in 2024.

CORRECTION: Email response to ATV/UTV ordinance reversed in printed meeting report

The article covering the Monday, September 16 meeting of the Allamakee County Board of Supervisors printed in the September 18, 2019 edition of The Standard contained incorrect information on the emails received by Board Chairman Larry Schellhammer in regard to a proposed change in the County’s ATV/UTV Ordinance. The article should have read as follows:

“Schellhammer reported receiving 38 emails relating to this matter with 12 in favor of allowing ATV/UTV use and 26 opposed to changing the existing ordinance.”

The Standard apologizes for any confusion or difficulties that may have arisen as a result of this reversed information.

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