Supervisors canvass EACSD District 2 recount vote totals, approve pair of items regarding the Sheriff’s Department

by Joe Moses

The Allamakee County Board of Supervisors met in regular session Monday, November 25 to address a full agenda of items including the Re-Canvass of the EACSD District 2 race, the appointment of two County Sheriff’s Department transport officers and use of the County credit card for recurring billing of shift planning software for the Sheriff’s Department.

During Public Comment, Executive Director Val Reinke with Allamakee County Economic Development (ACED) provided an update on a market study relating to Lansing and other area events taking place last week. She also discussed the Festival of Trees taking place in Postville November 29 and 30 and Small Business Saturday in Lansing, which is scheduled for November 30 and has become an important event for that business community. Reinke said the Annual Lighted Holiday Parade will be taking place in Waukon Monday, December 2 and provided a recap of a recent Islamic Center open house in Postville attended by religious studies students from Beckman Catholic School in Dyersville.

The Supervisors moved into the Re-Canvass of the Eastern Allamakee Community School District (EACSD) District 2 race. The Supervisors adjourned as the Board of Supervisors and convened as the Board of Canvassers. Allamakee County Auditor Denise Beyer indicated that the election results prior to the re-canvass were 201 votes for Tony Becker, 200 for Bruce Palmborg and 175 for Krista Rasque. Beyer indicated that the recount resulted in slight changes in totals with 203 for Tony Becker, 201 for Bruce Palmborg and 174 for Krista Rasque. Becker was declared as the winner of the EACSD Director District 2 election. The Board of Canvassers adjourned with the Board of Supervisors then reconvening.

Allamakee County Sheriff Clark Mellick addressed the next agenda item relating to personnel matters and the appointment of two individuals as transport officers. Mellick discussed that several transport officers are no longer residing in the area and provided a recommendation to hire two part-time transport officers, requiring no budget change with this expense to come out of the part-time portion of the Sheriff’s Department budget. Mellick discussed the background of both candidates including James Ward, having served as an officer with the Postville Police Department and as a reserve officer in Winneshiek County, and Scott Adams, retired military with training in substance abuse counseling. The Supervisors approved the hire of Ward and Adams as part-time transport officers per Union contract.

Mellick also discussed the request to use the County credit card for recurring billing for Humanity Shift Planning software. Mellick indicated that Humanity’s Cloud-based scheduling platform has worked well for Sheriff’s Department employees and that a request is being made to use the County credit card for payment of the annual service fee. Mellick advised that a two-year commitment is being made allowing for review of other options in the future. The Supervisors approved the use of the County credit card for two-year billing for Humanity Shift Planning software for the Sheriff’s Department.

The Supervisors moved into the liquor license renewal for Wings in Dorchester. This matter was briefly addressed at the November 12 Supervisors meeting with no action being taken due to the delay of required information from the business’s insurance provider. The Supervisors reviewed the renewal application, which was accepted and placed on file.

Allamakee County Zoning Administrator Tom Blake provided an overview of the Joanne Heffern, Jeanne Schulte and Patrick and James W. Fahey plat request. Blake indicated that five acres are being surveyed off the parcel to allow for the construction of a house or shed. Following review, the Supervisors approved the plat request.

Blake also discussed the next plat request from Kathleen Regan involving four parcels in preparation for a sale. Blake indicated that the Planning and Zoning Commission and Plat Review Board have recommended approval of this request with access to each parcel being reviewed. The Supervisors approved the plat request.

Under Department Head Updates, Mellick provided an update on the Allamakee County Public Safety Center’s water system and water tower. Mellick indicated that chlorination has worked well with the water tower with water tests and chlorine levels being good, and he reported that a new flow meter will be installed.

Allamakee County Engineer Brian Ridenour advised that applications are being reviewed for an equipment operator/maintenance position with one interview last week. Ridenour indicated that sand hauling continues to build up the County’s stockpile for winter. Ridenour also discussed agriculture-related traffic, safety and that some rock is being thrown onto pavement by large tires.

Beyer discussed the election recount that took place last week and that she was part of a County Auditors Association meeting in Des Moines last Wednesday which covered a variety of topics including tax increment financing (TIF) and election matters. Beyer discussed scheduling public hearings in early 2020 and that budget meetings are being planned for early January.

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