Ordinance would hold adults responsible for hosting parties
Jefferson County Board of Supervisors discussed a social host ordinance at today’s meeting that would hold adults responsible for hosting parties that serve alcohol to anyone under age 21.
The ordinance was drafted by Assistant County Attorney Pat McAvan and supported by the Jefferson County Alcohol Consumption Task Force.
Two of the three supervisors, chairman Lee Dimmitt and Becky Schmitz, are members of the task force.
The ordinance needs to go through the regular meeting procedures of a public hearing and two or three public readings before being voted upon by the supervisors.
An item on next Monday’s agenda will be to set the public hearing and first reading date.
Also scheduled for next meeting’s agenda is setting a public hearing to consider a resolution to offer for sale and invite proposals to purchase the now-empty former county attorney’s office at 117 W. Broadway Ave.
“I said at the auction, when no bids were offered, the next step would be to list the property with a realtor,” said supervisor Dick Reed. “We’re not in a hurry. We’re paying something each month in utilities to keep the property climatized.”
Reed said the county could start with listing the property for 180 days with a local realty.
“To be fair, we’ll put all local real estate companies’ names in a hat and draw one out,” he said. “We’ll have a listing agent and ask to be included in the multiple listing service.”
The supervisors will select a name from a hat at the next meeting and set a date for a public hearing.
Jefferson County Conservation Director Dennis Lewiston asked the supervisors to approve his department borrowing $20,000 for a year at 2.99 percent interest from a credit union to purchase a Bobcat Compact Track Loader.
“We’ve been fighting invasive species of plants by hand,” said Lewiston. “I’ve talked with other counties that use this equipment and it’s easier to keep up with the spread of invasive species.
“We’ve been saving money to purchase the Bobcat. The total price, including a government discount is $64,000. We’re not able to pay cash, but have $24,000 to put down and can write a $20,000 check this fiscal year,” he said.
“We’d like to carry the balance and pay it the next fiscal year,” said Lewiston. “We could pay for it entirely this fiscal year, but then we’d not be able to do any other projects and we have some pavement patching to work on.”
Lewiston said the one-year’s interest would cost about $600. The conservation board has already approved the purchase of the equipment and the loan.
“But according to Iowa law, to incur debt, it must be approved by the supervisors,” he said.
Lewiston said the Bobcat could be used with an augur and will be useful in snow removal, also. Eventually, he’d liked to purchase shears for it.
“I know this is new, or different for conservation — it’s the first time to purchase this type of equipment,” said Reed. “Your department covers lots of ground and is growing revenue. I approve this purchase.”
The supervisors voted 3-0 on Lewiston’s request to purchase the Bobcat.
Supervisors also approved a request from Lewiston for a salary increase, from $9 per hour last year to $9.50 per hour this year for a temporary employee. The conservation board had previously approved the increase.
In other business:
• Schmitz said working on the county’s application to be a stand-alone region for mental health services was “all-consuming last week.”
“We learned Friday our application was not approved,” she said. “By their measurements, we weren’t even close. Our providers are frustrated; the qualifications are set up to fail applications.”
An appeal process could be possible; the county attorney’s office is reviewing the appeal procedure to advise Schmitz and Central Point of Coordination Jefferson County Mental Health Administrator Sandy Stever.
• Kent Boyum director of governmental relations at Maharishi Vedic City said Vedic City council had approved the 28E Agreement for law enforcement with the county.
“We’ve been working on a few modifications for roads’ maintenance,” said Boyum. “We made a few changes from what the county had in the 28E Agreement.”
Boyum gave a copy of the road maintenance agreement, with Maharishi Vedic City’s modifications circled, to the supervisors.
McAvan had already reviewed the agreement, and told the supervisors the agreement was close to what the county had written.
New 28E Agreements went into effect today, the first day of the new fiscal year.
Supervisors will have to wait until next Monday to act upon the modified roads maintenance agreement.
• County Engineer Scott Cline shared a checklist he has devised at the urging of the supervisors for applications to divide property lots and create mini-subdivisions.