Social host ordinance passes second reading
Jefferson County Board of Supervisors held the second public hearing and reading of the social host ordinance and set a third and final public hearing and reading for 9 a.m. Sept. 3, at a regular board meeting.
Supervisor Becky Schmitz said she had a citizen call with a question about the ordinance that will hold adults responsible for hosting or providing alcohol to people under the legal age.
“Her question was about parents allowing their own kids to drink at home because they’d rather have them drink at home than at parties elsewhere,” said Schmitz.
Assistant County Attorney Pat McAvan said if one best friend is present, it brings the situation under the ordinance.
“The liabilities and responsibilities are always there,” said McAvan. “It’s not a different answer whether we have this social ordinance or not.”
If parents allow their own children to consume at home, and if those children leave and are intoxicated outside the home or behind the wheel of a vehicle, parents are liable and responsible.
“The ordinance is not shifting responsibilities; it’s making it more clear,” said McAvan.
Audience member Jerry Nelson asked about the rock used on county roads.
“What grade of rock is going down on the roads?” he asked. “It’s very dusty.”
Supervisors Dick Reed said the county uses inspected rock that meets state specifications. The county changed rock/gravel providers this fiscal year, using Douds Stone. Nelson said he hadn’t realized the county changed vendors.
Reed asked County Engineer Scott Cline about a private driveway/culvert project along Libertyville Road.
“It’s been under construction more than a month,” said Reed. “I’m concerned about the safety of drivers out there; there’s a lot of deer around and if a driver veers to avoid a deer, a vehicle could hit this culvert and get hurt.
“How long do you give someone to complete such a project?”
Cline said as far as he knew, there isn’t a timeline.
“It’s got to involve some common sense at some point,” said Reed. “It can’t be left in the ditch with five-to-six inches sticking out.”
Cline reported his crews are doing maintenance road chores and he has met again with the representative from Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“We have about 30 locations around the county,” that needed repairs from the April 17 storm, said Cline.
To receive federal disaster assistance, each location needs documentation for location identified by longitude and latitude. Cline is responsible to provide rock tickets showing amount of rock used, time sheets for employees and every piece of equipment used, for how long, at each project.
Reed said Tracht Conservation Farm, a private 130-acre property owned and managed by Pathfinders Resource Conservation and Development, will host the Pathfinders’ annual picnic at 6 p.m. Sept. 12. The board of supervisors will be invited.
“A work day will be held sometime before the picnic,” he added.
The Tracht Farm, about 5 miles northeast of Fairfield, serves as a demonstration area for habitat development, woodland management and wildlife enhancement, according to Pathfinders’ website www.pathfindersrcd.org.
The farm has tree plantings with more than 60 different tree species to benefit wildlife. The area also has wildlife food plots and four ponds. Three ponds have fish.
A cabin is available for rent for meetings, picnics or overnight.
Visitors must contact Pathfinders RC&D office and request permission to go on the private property. The office phone number is 472-6177.