Supervisors approve submission of County Substance Abuse Grant application, contract for Yellow River Drive asphalt project

by Joe Moses

The Allamakee County Board of Supervisors met in regular session Monday, April 24 to address a full agenda of matters including Quarterly Reports from Environmental Health and Veterans Affairs, consideration of submitting a grant application relating to County Substance Abuse Programs, and consideration of the contract and bond for the Yellow River Drive asphalt project. The meeting was called to order by Chairperson Dan Byrnes with Supervisors Mark Reiser and Dennis Keatley present.

There was no Public Comment during the time allotted for that agenda item.

The meeting moved into plat requests with Allamakee County Zoning Administrator Stephanie Runkle providing an overview of the Daric Wayne and Lacey Jo Steiber and Joseph C. and Carol A. Stammeyer plat request and the Stephen E., Michele M. and Chase S. Pladsen plat request. Both requests were individually approved.

The Supervisors next reviewed and approved Quarterly Reports from Environmental Health and Veterans Affairs. The Supervisors moved into the consideration of a New Liquor License permit application for Knotty Marie’s LLC/Amy Christianson. Allamakee County Auditor Denise Beyer presented information relating to the liquor license permit application. Following review, the liquor license permit was approved.

Coordinator Jean Bossom with Allamakee Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP) advised that she has completed a grant application through the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services relating to the County Substance Abuse grant which she noted is funded through Sunday alcohol sales. This funding, up to $10,000, can be awarded to County Boards of Supervisors for substance abuse prevention strategies. Bossom noted that a minimum of 50 percent of the school districts within a county would need to be involved in the prevention strategies with Bossom noting plans to work with all three of the school districts within Allamakee County. Bossom advised that the grant application is ready for submission immediately while noting the submission deadline of Thursday, April 27 with a four- to six-week turnaround to be expected relating to notification of the grant award. The Supervisors approved the submission of the grant application.

Beyer then addressed the next matter relating to the consideration of a virtual private network (VPN) approval. Beyer advised that Michelle Gress, an employee in the Auditor’s office, has a scheduled medical related absence but is interested in continuing work on a real estate-related spreadsheet update from home. Beyer further advised that a County laptop computer and VPN access would be necessary for this work to be performed by Gress from home during this absence. The Supervisors approved the VPN access on a temporary basis.

The Supervisors moved into the next matter relating to the consideration of signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Iowa Department of Management’s Office of Chief Information Officer (OCIO) for Cybersecurity Services/Crowdstrike. Beyer noted that the County Courthouse’s cybersecurity services are being changed from FireEye to CrowdStrike per the OCIO. Following discussion, the Supervisors approved to sign the memorandum of understanding with the OCIO.

The meeting moved into the consideration of signing the Certification of the Cost Allocation Plan from Cost Advisory Services Inc. (CASI) for indirect cost recoveries for the Fiscal-Year 2022 (FY22) to be received in Fiscal-Year 2024 (FY24). Beyer noted that this process takes place each year relating to utility expenses associated with Department of Human Services (DHS) office space provided by the County. Beyer provided an overview of the reimbursement rate and quarterly payments to be received. The Supervisors approved to sign the Certification of the Cost Allocation Plan with the CASI contract for Fiscal-Year 2023 through Fiscal-Year 2025 (FY23-25) also being approved.

The Supervisors approved Secondary Road Transfers including General Basic $53,538.10 and Rural Basic $630,545.64.

Allamakee County Engineer Brian Ridenour addressed the next matter relating to the consideration of the contract and bond for the Yellow River Drive asphalt project. Ridenour noted that the contract amount with River City Paving, a Division of Mathy Construction, is $1,271,583.94 for this project. The Supervisors approved the contract and bond for the Yellow River Drive asphalt project.

Ridenour also addressed the next matter relating to the consideration of contracts and bonds for gravel road rock. He provided an overview of the low bids from Bruening Rock Products of Decorah for Division I: $190,913.77, Division II: $141,247.01, Division IV: $270,728.73, Division V: $180,524.90 and Division VI: $172,109.53. Ridenour noted that he may have the contracts and bonds for Division III and VII from Strong Rock and Gravel of Lansing ready for approval by the next Supervisors meeting. The contracts and bonds for Divisions I, II, IV, V and VI were approved.

Under Department Head Updates, Allamakee County Emergency Management Coordinator Corey Snitker discussed attending a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) train derailment response training exercise in Cedar Rapids last week. Snitker also talked about the public emergency response training session scheduled for next week with an Emergency Management Association conference scheduled for the following week.

Snitker also noted the Friends of Yellow River State Forest Trail Run, 5K, 10K and Half Marathon events scheduled for Friday and Saturday, May 12-13. He also talked about concerns relating to Mississippi River levels with work ongoing in Harpers Ferry and Lansing.

Snitker further noted the potential closure of the road on the Wisconsin side of the Black Hawk Bridge if the Mississippi crests at 20 or 21 feet. He said that the Canadian Pacific (CP) Railroad is building up its tracks to keep trains running during the high water.

Snitker noted that a lot of work continues in the Harpers Ferry area with a sandbag filling machine on loan from Winneshiek County being used Friday and Saturday to fill over 1,500 sandbags. He noted that the Mississippi is projected to crest just above 24 feet at Harpers Ferry, which would be just a foot below the record crest in 1965. Snitker also discussed the weather outlook not including heavy rains with some showers possible later in the week.

Snitker noted that follow-up will be completed with the National Weather Service La Crosse, WI location relating to their rain projections to the north, which will be of interest to eastern Iowa home owners and communities along the Mississippi River in determining individual actions. Snitker also noted scheduled meetings between Emergency Management and the State of Iowa each Monday, Wednesday and Friday in providing updates and discussing response to the rising flood waters.

Ridenour further discussed current flood predictions and the potential impact on the Great River Road, noting that embargoes on asphalt roads are planned to be pulled which he advised is unrelated to the current flood-related predictions. Ridenour noted that construction on A26 by New Albin is planned to resume next week. He also discussed staffing in his department with interviews being scheduled.

Prior to adjournment, Beyer noted ongoing work relating to the remaining budget certifications. She advised that First Deputy Auditor Janel Eglseder will be working on packets relating to open enrollment this week. Beyer discussed staffing and that a couple of applications were received relating to an employment vacancy in her office.