Supervisors hear local updates at regular meeting held in Harpers Ferry, reconsider bid awarding for County Courthouse sidewalk after revision

by Joe Moses

The Allamakee County Board of Supervisors met in regular session Monday, July 17 at the Harpers Ferry Community Center/Dolores Tillinghast Memorial Library as part of the Supervisors’ annual schedule of library visits within the county. The Supervisors addressed a full agenda of matters including Quarterly Reports for the County Sheriff’s office and County Relief office, consideration of an engineering and survey quote for the Allamakee County Public Safety Center Water System Project and the consideration of County Courthouse sidewalk bids.

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

During Public Comment, Executive Director Val Reinke of Allamakee County Economic Development (ACED) made note of recent and upcoming events within the county including the Star City Film Festival held in Lansing July 14-16. Reinke further noted that the variety of films by filmmakers from the across the country with the event attracting individuals both nationally and internationally. She advised that there was a group of film students from the University of Wisconsin (UW) Oshkosh present in addition to individuals from as far away as Germany. Reinke noted the planning and work performed by Star City Film Festival founder Katie O’Regan, a longtime actress, producer, director and founder of the Sacred Noise Society, Inc.

Reinke made note of the recent New Albin Community Celebration Event held Saturday, July 15. Reinke advised that the Allamakee County Fair in Waukon will be held this week, July 19-23, and that ACED will have a booth during the fair with a variety of information to be available. She also advised that KCRG-TV9 will be in Waukon Wednesday, July 19 shooting footage relating to an “Our Town” segment.

Keatley noted the Allamakee County Veterans Museum’s program held Saturday, July 15 as part of the Veterans History Project honoring Vietnam War Veterans. Keatley commented on the event’s attendance which he advised was “standing room only” for guest speaker Carl Johnson, a Vietnam War Veteran.

The meeting moved into the Dolores Tillinghast Public Library Update with Library Director Jodi Delaney providing an overview of the library’s programming and operations. Delaney discussed summer programming for children, computer and internet availability, and trends relating to physical reading materials and e-books.

Delaney noted that the library is open to the public Monday and Tuesday from 9 a.m.-Noon, Wednesday and Thursday from 4-7 p.m., Friday from 2-5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m.-12 Noon. She made note of baking contests with cake pans on loan in addition to the basket raffle which has become a popular event and fundraiser for the library.

Mayor Jerry Valley provided an update relating to the City of Harpers Ferry. Valley noted that it has been a busy year in Harpers Ferry with a lot of construction taking place, including new home construction. Council member/Mayor ProTem Tom Diggins added that the 4th of July weekend was very busy with Harpers Ferry being a popular destination along the Mississippi River. Valley echoed similar thoughts about the 4th of July weekend and also noted the Memorial Day Parade and Labor Day weekend as popular events.

The meeting moved into Quarterly Reports for the County Sheriff’s Office and the County Relief Office. Both reports were accepted and placed on file.

Allamakee County Auditor Denise Beyer addressed the next matter relating to the use of the County Credit Card for jury selection software. Beyer noted the request by Allamakee County Attorney Anthony Gericke to purchase jury selection software, an expense out of his departmental budget, at a cost of $399 per year not to exceed $450 with any shipping or additional associated costs. Following discussion, the Supervisors approved the use of the County Credit Card for this annually recurring expense, not to exceed $450.

The meeting moved into the consideration of the Resolution for Destruction of Noxious Weeds. Beyer noted that Environmental Health Director/Weed Commissioner Laurie Moody has provided this information with Byrnes further noting that the publication of this Resolution will need to take place. Following discussion, the Supervisors approved the Resolution.

The meeting moved into the discussion and consideration of a quote from Mohn Surveying for engineering and surveying for the Allamakee County Public Safety Center Water System Project. Allamakee County Sheriff Clark Mellick provided an overview of the proposed water system upgrade to include underground water storage, among other improvements. Discussion of using American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding for this project was discussed with the Supervisors approving to move forward with the engineering quote from Mohn Surveying not to exceed $6,000.

The Supervisors next addressed the agenda item relating to discussion and consideration of the County Courthouse sidewalk bids and previous motion to award bid. At the July 3 Supervisors Meeting, bids for the sidewalk concrete replacement at a 4” depth were reviewed with the low bid from Sweeney Builders at $31,262 being approved with a bid also received from Bacon Concrete at $38,699 and an updated bid from Kelly Concrete not provided. At the July 17 Supervisors meeting, it was noted that a correction or clarification to the Sweeney Builders bid has been made with the Sweeney Builders bid now at $58,817, with Bacon Concrete’s bid at $38,699 and Kelly Concrete requesting to be removed from consideration. The Supervisors approved to reject the original bid from Sweeney Builders. In a separate motion, the low bid from Bacon Concrete at $38,699 was approved for this project.

Under Department Head Updates, Mellick noted that there has been a lot of tourism within the county and that the Allamakee County Fair is starting this week. He advised that work relating to the new records management software is ongoing.

Beyer reported that work relating to tax processes has begun. She noted that CPA Senior Accountant Jennifer Hennessy of Hacker Nelson & Co. is currently doing some pre-audit field work in anticipation of the regular audit field work in early October. Beyer noted election training, continuing education requirements and scheduled vacation time that will affect staffing in the County Auditor’s office the first week of August. She also noted that an informational meeting for county auditors and supervisors is scheduled for September 13 in Des Moines relating to property taxes and House File 718.

Prior to adjournment, the Supervisors toured Mohn’s Fish Market located near Harpers Ferry.