Supervisors discuss reinstating County Compensation Board after State legislation change, approve “Adopt-a-Highway” application

by Joe Moses

The Allamakee County Board of Supervisors met in regular session Monday, July 8 to address a full agenda of matters including the consideration of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Management Agreement for several locations, discussion of the Resolution reinstating the County Compensation Board and the consideration of an “Adopt-a-Highway” application for State Forest Road. The meeting was called to order by Board of Supervisors Chairperson Dan Byrnes with Supervisors Mark Reiser and Dennis Keatley present.

The meeting moved into Public Comment with Ron Heuker of rural Lansing providing comments relating to the condition of Mullarkey Hill Drive near his residence. Heuker noted past comments from County Engineer Brian Ridenour relating to Mullarkey Hill Drive and other similar partially abandoned roads with limited maintenance. Heuker discussed conditions on Mullarkey Hill Drive with eight-feet tall weeds in ditches affecting visibility and safety with the road surface being a concern with washboard/ripple conditions present, holes and rainfall-related wash-outs all being issues not addressed by the Secondary Road Department. Byrnes noted that Heuker’s comments would be passed on to Ridenour.

The Supervisors moved into the next agenda item relating to the consideration of approving the Iowa DNR Management Agreements with the County Conservation Board for the Harpers Ferry Boat Landing and shops, Heytman’s Boat Landing, Nobles Island Boat Landing and Harpers Slough Public Area. Conservation Director Ross Geerdes provided an overview of this matter relating to a 28E agreement, an agreement between government entities relating to shared services or facilities of mutual benefit, between the DNR and the County Conservation Board. Following discussion, the Supervisors approved the agreement.

Byrnes addressed the next matter relating to the Notice of Electronic Manure Management Plan (eMMP) update from Chestnut Farms Site 2. Byrnes noted that this inclusion on the meeting agenda serves as a notice to the public that this eMMP update has been filed and is available on the DNR website for public viewing. Byrnes further noted that questions from the public relating to viewing this update online may be directed to the County Auditor’s office. No action was necessary relating to this informational matter.

The meeting moved into the Liquor License Renewal for the Allamakee County Conservation Foundation. Geerdes noted that the liquor license renewal will allow for the Conservation Foundation to continue the sale of wine. Following a brief discussion, the liquor license renewal was approved.

The Supervisors moved into discussion of the Resolution for reinstating a County Compensation Board. Byrnes noted that the Compensation Board was dissolved due to State legislation with counties having the right to reinstate this board. County Auditor Denise Beyer added that the Iowa State Association of Counties (ISAC) has provided a sample Resolution with notations based upon specifics included in Iowa Code Iowa Code: Section 331.905 relating to the establishment of County Compensation Boards to be comprised of seven members serving staggered terms, among other specifics.

Beyer noted that the members of the previous Compensation Board could be reinstated with the addition of language to that effect. Byrnes advised that this updated language relating to the continuation of the previous Compensation Board could be drafted by County Attorney Anthony Gericke or Assistant County Attorney Jill Kistler. Byrnes also discussed the role of the Compensation Board in performing research and in providing feedback and public input. No action was taken relating to this discussion matter.

Beyer addressed the next matter relating to discussion of selling old election laptop computers or otherwise disposing of them. Beyer noted feedback from a representative of ISAC relating to options available including the erasing of hard drives prior to recycling or private bid, or the removal and destruction of hard drives prior to recycling. The Supervisors were in agreement to see if laptop hard drives could be wiped clean in-house or if this work would need to be performed by an outside vendor prior to being put out to private bid or recycled. No action was taken.

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