Fairfield Ledger

Neighbors Growing Together | Apr 24, 2014

County sells 2 acres near Brookville Road

By DIANE VANCE | Feb 04, 2014

Jefferson County was able to sell 2.29 acres of land along Brookville Road at Monday’s supervisors board meeting.

A public hearing was held, and no one from the public had any comments.

County Engineer Scott Cline said the land bordered the west side of Brookville Road on the north side of the railroad tracks.

“It’s not necessary for use for road purposes; the utilities will be allowed to remain in place as part of the terms of the sale,” said Cline. “The railroad would like no access. The original owner is deceased.”

Assistant county attorney Pat McAvan said according to Iowa law, the land is required to be offered first to the previous owner, but since that person is dead, the adjoining property owner has first rights to purchase it.

Adjacent property owner Joe McLarney said he would buy it for $5,400 — the amount the board of supervisors and Cline agreed was the appraised value plus the cost “of doing business” to sell it, as Supervisor Dick Reed described it.

McAvan said the board could take up to 60 days to review the offer. But board chairman Reed said there was no need, and shook hands with McLarney to confirm the sale.

In other road news, Reed said the cold temperatures have been cracking roads, including Libertyville Road, and asked Cline if it would be a big problem in the spring.

“I am aware of it,” said Cline. “And it’s getting worse. The only real solution now is milling the road, but the county doesn’t own milling equipment. We can hire a contractor to do it in warmer temperatures.”

The supervisors approved the West Des Moines company, Calhoun-Burns & Associates Inc., for this year’s bridge inspections in Jefferson County with a contract for $15,080.

Cline said bridges are required to be inspected at least every two years, and some structures each year.

The supervisors approved a Hazard Mitigation Grant Program contract among Iowa Homeland Security, Emergency Management Department and the county.

“This needs to be updated every five years,” said supervisor chairman Lee Dimmitt. “And Area 15 Regional Planning provides technical assistance for the hazard mitigation plan. It’s part of the contract, and all the counties in Area 15 agree to this.”

The supervisors approved a technical assistance agreement between Area 15 Regional Planning and Jefferson County.

On a final note, Reed shared with the other supervisors that the Iowa Supreme Court ruled against Appanoose County’s suit.

“About 2.5 years ago, Appanoose County sued the southeast Iowa juvenile detention facility because it withdrew from it and wanted an eighth of the assets, about $1 million,” said Reed. “We can move forward with no more litigation about this.”

In committee reports:

• Supervisor Becky Schmitz serves as the county representative on the Ambulance Service Agency board. Other board members are Deb Cardin, Jefferson County Health Center CEO; Martha Rasmussen, Fairfield City Council member; and Tom Kunkle, JCHC board member.

“We had a discussion about the number of people on the board, and I suggested five, with one more from the city, since it has the most ambulance calls,” she said. “But we’ll return to three on the board, with the hospital CEO as a non-voting member.”

A fourth-quarter report for calendar year 2013 showed the highest number of ambulance calls came from within Fairfield, the second highest from the hospital and the fewest from the county.

The ambulance service ended with a shortfall of $2,356 for the fiscal year 2014. Jefferson County, which had contributed an annual $25,000 to the ambulance service, will pay another $800 to help with the service’s shortfall. Fairfield city had paid $10,000 and will pay $15,800 by June 30. JCHC will pay $25,800 by the end of the fiscal year.

“Next year, FY15, each of the three entities will contribute $25,000,” said Schmitz. “That is the amount the county had already agreed to fund and now it will remain the same each year and is predictable.”

• Reed said the Emergency Management Commission is moving ahead with a search for a manager and hopefully can hire one in March or April.

• Dimmitt said Southern Iowa Economic Development Association has a grant program that provides substance abuse support on a sliding scale based on client income, which will be ending.

“At the SEIDA board meeting, we discussed investing in a consortium that could provide a substance abuse program,” said Dimmitt. “A consortium would have buying power, but there’s a question of dividends.”

• Dimmitt also reported the E-911 board is facing a lack of funds. Landline phones provide funds, but with more and more people stopping landlines and using only cell phones, funds are dwindling. It hasn’t been decided if cell phones could be taxed in the area where they are based or the location where a call originates.

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