Supervisors approve roadway maintenance agreements with Iowa DOT and City of Waukon, hear report on PTSD Awareness Walk held locally

by Joe Moses

The Allamakee County Board of Supervisors met in regular session Monday, June 26 to address a short agenda of matters including the liquor license renewal for the Allamakee County Conservation Foundation, three plat approvals and the consideration of a Roadway Maintenance Agreement with the Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the City of Waukon. The meeting was called to order by Chairperson Dan Byrnes with Supervisors Mark Reiser and Dennis Keatley present.

During Public Comment, Byrnes made note of the Saturday, June 24 Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Walk held in Waukon which he added had good participation and interest (see photos on the Front Page of this week’s edition of The Standard). The PTSD Awareness Walk was sponsored by the Allamakee County Veterans Affairs office and the Allamakee County Veterans Museum with the event’s walking route traveling from the Freedom Rock at the Waukon City Park to the Allamakee County Courthouse front lawn followed by programs and video presentations at the Allamakee County Veterans Museum, across from the County Courthouse.

Following the time allotted for Public Comment, the meeting moved into the Liquor License renewal for the Allamakee County Conservation Foundation. Allamakee County Auditor Denise Beyer noted that nothing has changed from the previous renewal with wine sales to again be allowed for the County Conservation Foundation as part of this application renewal. Following review, the Supervisors approved the liquor license renewal.

The meeting moved into Plat Requests with Allamakee County Zoning Administrator Stephanie Runkle providing an overview of the three requests including Anderson Springs LLC and Anderson Hollow LLC, Scott J. Dougherty and Brian W. Dougherty, and lastly, Bright, Haskell Howard Jr. and Donna Marie. Each of the three plats was individually reviewed and approved.

Beyer provided an overview of the next matter relating to Secondary Roads Transfers. She noted transfers to Secondary Roads to include $5,987.10 from General Basic and $270,835.17 from Rural Basic with the Supervisors approving this matter.

Allamakee County Engineer Brian Ridenour addressed the next agenda item relating to the consideration of the Roadway Maintenance Agreement with IDOT and the City of Waukon. Ridenour noted specifics relating to snow and ice removal included in the agreement between the IDOT and the City of Waukon. Following discussion, the Supervisors approved the agreement.

Under Department Head Updates, Allamakee County Veterans Affairs Director Heather Homewood provided a recap of the June 24 PTSD Awareness Walk held in Waukon. Homewood noted that a tent provided by Ness Pumping Service & Porta Potty Rentals was set up on the County Courthouse lawn and was beneficial in providing shade for participants following the walk. Homewood advised that the Mobile Vets Center was present thanks to the Cedar Rapids Veterans Affairs office in addition to representatives being present from the Suicide Prevention office of Iowa City Veterans Affairs, Decorah Veterans Affairs and Veterans Memorial Hospital (VMH).

Homewood further advised that programs and presentations took place inside the County Veterans Museum and that the PTSD Awareness Walk had over 30 participants with over 40 individuals present in total. She noted that EMS and fire calls that morning prevented several other individuals from attending the event. Homewood further reported positive feedback received relating to participation and comparisons to similar events in large cities yielding fewer participants, further indicating the success of the June 24 event in Waukon.

Homewood advised that next year’s promotion of this event will include military veterans in addition to others in the public affected by PTSD. A county-wide coalition relating to PTSD was discussed by Homewood as a possibility and that a variety of occupations, including clergy and bartenders as examples, may receive training in identifying individuals with PTSD by asking questions in addition to providing information and referrals for assistance. Homewood noted the traffic control provided by the Waukon Police Department with Byrnes further recognizing the efforts of Homewood and the Allamakee County Veterans Affairs office in organizing this event.

Allamakee County Emergency Management Coordinator Corey Snitker reported that the County’s Hazard Mitigation Plan has been approved by the State of Iowa and has been submitted to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with review and approval to likely take 45 days. Snitker referenced the DR-4483 COVID disaster declaration process and close-out with a recovery transition meeting to be scheduled for Allamakee County’s disaster declaration close-out.

As a Mississippi River flood damage update, Snitker discussed a recent meeting with representatives of the State of Iowa relating to the FEMA disaster declaration which will potentially provide $5.5 million in funding to portions of Iowa along the Mississippi River. Snitker noted primary areas of damage that are likely to qualify including Department of Natural Resources (DNR) areas and the City of Davenport with Lansing’s riverbank damage potentially the only area in Allamakee County to qualify for this assistance.

Snitker also briefly discussed upcoming events in the county including the Independence Day/4th of July holiday and the Allamakee County Fair July 19-23. He noted an upcoming tabletop exercise and that the next Emergency Management Commission meeting is scheduled for July 17.

Ridenour advised that the Strong Quarry is getting started with contracted rock. He noted that centerline and edge-line painting is done as of last week in addition to providing an update relating to the arrival of equipment on order. Ridenour noted that there is still a mechanic vacancy within the Secondary Road Department, further noting that the next Six-County Meeting will be held in Allamakee County with potential meeting locations also discussed by Ridenour.

Prior to adjournment, Beyer noted her attendance at a conference last week and that updates to voter check-in software will be used during the election in the fall. Beyer discussed the fiscal-year-end (FYE) taking place this week with the Supervisors to meet Friday for approval of FYE claims.