Supervisors discuss specifics of new Goodwill Box and Pioneer Cemetery Commission, approve resolution to enter into opioid settlement agreements

by Joe Moses

The Allamakee County Board of Supervisors met in regular session Monday, March 6 to address a full agenda of matters including discussion of the Goodwill Box at the Allamakee County Courthouse, discussion of the Allamakee County Pioneer Cemetery Commission membership, and consideration of a Resolution relating to Opioid Litigation Settlements.

The meeting was called to order by Board of Supervisors Chairperson Dan Byrnes with Supervisors Mark Reiser and Dennis Keatley present.

During Public Comment, Marcia Rush with the Allamakee County Historical Society presented information and photos to the Supervisors relating to cemeteries at Thompson Corner, Makee, Village Creek and Yellow River. Rush discussed the maintenance of these and other pioneer cemeteries within the county.

The meeting moved into the consideration of setting a date and time for the Canvass of the Postville Special Election scheduled for Tuesday, March 7. Allamakee County Auditor Denise Beyer provided a recommendation to set this date and time as Monday, March 13 at 9:40 a.m., during the next regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors with the Supervisors approving that recommendation.

Following review by the Supervisors, Manure Management Plan updates for Gibbs Dairy, EY #1-Eric Weymiller, and West Ridge Ag LLC were accepted and placed on file.

The meeting moved into discussion of the Goodwill Box placement, signage and stocking. Byrnes provided some background relating to this agenda item, noting the efforts by Waukon High School Industrial Arts Instructor Caleb Ferring and his students from several classes being involved in the design, manufacture and anchoring of the Goodwill Box at the south County Courthouse parking lot.

Byrnes advised that an anonymous donor provided the funding for this project in honor of former Allamakee County Auditor, the late Mary O’Neill, and that Director Rebecca Hawes of the Allamakee County Relief Office will be involved in stocking nonperishable food items in the enclosed case to be available for individuals and families experiencing food insecurity. Byrnes noted that additionally, some toiletry items may be stocked within the Goodwill Box along with a variety of dry, nonperishable food items to be available as emergency assistance for those in need.

Byrnes commented and read aloud portions of the signage text that will be placed within the case: “This is a Goodwill Food Box. Take what you need, leave some for others. Please do not put any items within this box.”

Byrnes noted that the only food items to be available are dry, nonperishable items and that produce items, tomatoes were provided as an example, would not be available in the Goodwill Box due to spoilage concerns. Byrnes further advised, “Food items are always available at the Relief Office within the Courthouse 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with the Relief Office phone number also being listed on this signage.” Rush and the Supervisors discussed having information cards providing Relief Office hours and contact information available within the Goodwill Box in addition to the laminated signage to be posted.

Rush also addressed the next matter relating to the discussion and consideration of the Pioneer Cemetery budget, advertising and appointment of members. Rush clarified that this group will be officially known as the Allamakee County Pioneer Cemetery Commission with Rush providing a recommendation to start out with five appointed members with additional members to be allowed later in the year to reach the original target of nine members for this commission. Beyer advised that a Board/Commission application is available in the Auditor’s office and on the County’s website.

Rush discussed advertising the opportunity to serve on this commission with flyers and information to be distributed in communities throughout the county with an open house event to be scheduled. She also noted that the Allamakee County Historical Society has agreed to allow the use of a printer and clerical items but will not be supporting this commission monetarily. The Supervisors were in agreement to proceed with the Allamakee County Pioneer Cemetery Commission as a five-member commission initially with the nine-member commission being a long-term goal and the Commission being provided a $2,500 annual budget.

Allamakee County Attorney Anthony Gericke addressed the next matter relating to the discussion and consideration of advertising for sidewalk bids. Gericke noted that sidewalk replacement to the north and south of the County Courthouse has been discussed as a needed improvement. He advised that Head of Courthouse Maintenance John Roe has provided some specifics relating to the project which will involve the removal and hauling away of the old sidewalk, pouring and form of concrete, application of curing compound, among other requirements. Reiser agreed to follow up with Roe to discuss and clarify the specifics provided prior to official action on this matter. Reiser further agreed to work with Roe on the specifications with an advertisement to be prepared for newspaper publication relating to contractor bidding.

Assistant Allamakee County Attorney Jill Kistler addressed the next matter relating to consideration of Participation Agreements, Memorandum of Understanding/Memorandum of Agreement (MOU/MOA), Resolution and any other necessary action relating to Opioid Litigation settlements. Kistler provided some background relating to this matter, which she advised involves opioid litigation which began in 2017 against manufacturers, distributors and retail chain pharmacies.

Kistler noted that the Resolution under consideration relates to settlement agreements with new groups to include manufacturers Teva and Allergan in addition to pharmacies CVS, Walgreens and Walmart. Kistler noted that the State of Iowa will be receiving $135,635,506 as part of this settlement with half of that amount, just under $68 million, going to local governments to assist with substance abuse treatment, law enforcement, among other areas to help remedy the opioid epidemic. Kistler noted that specific amounts for city and county governments are yet to be determined with the list of participating governments still being finalized. The Supervisors approved the Resolution to enter into Opioid Settlement Agreements.

The meeting moved into the discussion and consideration of property insurance deductibles. Jane Regan with Upper Iowa Insurance Services provided an update relating to questions raised during the County Insurance review that took place during the Monday, February 27 Supervisors meeting. Regan clarified that the property insurance deductible is on a per occurrence basis and provided feedback relating to premium savings in moving from a $5,000 deductible to a $10,000 deductible. Regan also discussed the difference between functional replacement value and market value replacement relating to the Allamakee County Historical Society Museum, also known as the old Courthouse Museum. The

Supervisors approved to move forward with raising the County’s deductible to $10,000 and to change the old Courthouse Museum’s coverage to functional replacement value.

Allamakee County Engineer Brian Ridenour provided a recommendation to move forward with the Contract and Bond for painted pavement markings by low bidder Vogel Traffic Services Inc. at $134,965.09. The Supervisors approved that recommendation.

Ridenour also addressed the next matter relating to consideration of the Resolution to embargo certain secondary roads. He advised that each spring asphalt roads are embargoed with restricted axle limits to include 5-ton single axle and 7-ton tandem axle. The Resolution was approved.

The meeting moved into consideration of approving a plan set for W4B/Yellow River Drive. Ridenour noted that this project involves hot mix asphalt resurfacing of 4.2 miles on Yellow River Drive. The Supervisors approved the plan as presented. The Supervisors moved into the next matter relating to the consideration of setting a letting date for the W4B/Yellow River Drive resurfacing with 10 a.m. March 27 being approved to accept sealed bids for this project.

Under Department Head Updates, Ridenour noted that the 6-County meeting is scheduled for Wednesday this week. He noted that a portion of Highway 18 is closed near Froelich to allow for a bridge deck replacement. Ridenour noted fiber optic permits for work to be performed east of Dorchester and that part-time help will be advertised for a laborer, mower and scale person. Ridenour also discussed a timetable for a traffic impact study and that a Health Insurance Committee meeting will be taking place soon.

Allamakee County Zoning Administrator Stephanie Runkle discussed the planned route from the Lafayette Ridge Drive, Lansing dirt extraction site to the Alliant Energy ash ponds at 2320 Power Plant Road, Lansing.

Beyer noted that updated valuations have been sent out to other taxing entities within Allamakee County and that work continues relating to the Special Election in Postville to take place Tuesday, March 7. Beyer also noted meetings scheduled for later in the week.