Supervisors OK liquor license for restaurant
Jefferson County’s 2012 street paving project, Grimes Avenue and 227th Street, is closer to being finalized with clearing out a ditch today along 227th Street and county supervisors approving resolutions to formalize acceptance of the work and ordering preparation of the final plat and schedule of assessments.
“According to the bonding attorney, you need to act on setting up the assessments within 30 days of acceptance,” said Melanie Carlson, engineer from French-Reneker-Associates Inc. at today’s weekly supervisors meeting. “The city also needs to accept the work before the final plat and assessments are set up.”
The project was a joint project shared by the city and county, which Carlson oversaw. She said Fairfield City Council could accept the work at its next meeting Nov. 26.
Darrell and Sherry Copeland are nearing the re-opening of Four Corners as a restaurant in the county near Lockridge.
Darrell Copeland attended the supervisors meeting this morning to hear if his application for a liquor license was approved. Supervisors approved his request for a Class B and a special Class C liquor licenses, allowing for the sale of native wines and beer at the restaurant and purchasing for carry out.
“It’s not a bar, but we’ll serve beer and wine,” he said.
Jefferson County Chief Deputy Sheriff Gregg Morton said, “a new business opening is great news, but deputies are concerned about OWIs and increased accidents in the area. But that’s the case with any establishment serving alcohol.”
Copeland said he is waiting on a state inspection and hoping to open still this month.
County engineer Scott Cline reported he met with a railroad representative and Iowa Department of Transportation representative in the past week at the Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail intersection with Tangerine Avenue.
“The railroad wants to install lights and crossing guard arms at this intersection,” said Cline. “I was asked to be there for consultation, but there’s no cost to the county for this.”
Supervisor Dick Reed said it would be good if the railroad would work first to re-open another intersection three away from Tangerine Avenue that has been closed for a number of years before working on the Tangerine crossing.
“Tangerine Avenue is a dead end street,” agreed Steve Burgmeier, supervisor chairman.
Nonetheless, traffic from the highway turns in at Tangerine Avenue and the railroad crossing is so close that enough accidents have resulted to bring it to the railroad’s attention, said Cline.
Supervisor Lee Dimmitt asked if installation of the safety lights and crossing arms would close the intersection to vehicle traffic during the work period. Cline did not think so.
Cline shared maps of Mulberry Avenue because it was discussed to change a part of the road to Area Service “C,” meaning to gate the road. The portion of the road that would change is from north of Douglas Schultz’s driveway to the north end of the road.
“We need to check ownership of the road,” said Cline. “It may be that Schultz owns the road and is responsible for installing the gate.”
Reed said if Mulberry Avenue is to be gated, supervisors need to hear about it prior, not after, the decision is made.
Committee reports given
Supervisors officially canvassed Jefferson County votes Wednesday.
“We had about 40 more absentee ballots to count, but none of the count changed any outcomes,” Reed said.
Dimmitt reported on the Heartland Group meeting held in the past week.
“Center Village in Keosauqua is closing,” he said.
The residential center for mental health clients is being closed by the state for violations, he said. Hillcrest, the private company that staffs the former county home in Wapello County is looking to see if it can transfer any clients from Keosauqua to its care. Jefferson County and Wapello County jointly own the building Hillcrest runs. The two counties collect $85,000 in rent from Hillcrest for the building.
“Heartland Group dispersed $15,000 each to Jefferson and Wapello counties this month toward administering the home,” said Dimmitt. “We have $100,000 jointly contributed in an account and when it builds up to $10,000 to $25,000, I believe the money should be re-invested in the entities that contributed.”
Greenbrier residents are moving forward with a sewer system program similar to what Lakewood homeowners did with Rural Utilities Service Systems, said Burgmeier.
“It’s the biggest news out of the monthly RUSS meeting,” he said. “Greenbrier homeowners will upgrade their own connections and contract with RUSS to get estimates for the work. It’s a hometown-driven program.”
Reed asked Burgmeier if he would be willing to continue serving as Jefferson County’s representative on the RUSS board after the new year. Burgmeier, who came in third in a three-way race for two supervisor seats, will step down as county supervisor after the end of this year.
“You’ve served for 10 years on RUSS and we need an expert such as you,” said Reed. “It would be hard to find someone with your experience. Other boards have residents serving; we need to check into if you can continue with RUSS.
“Of course, it needs to pass the full board’s approval.”
County attorney Tim Dille said he would check the 28E agreement Jefferson County has with RUSS to see if it’s allowed.
Counter-proposal to jailers’ union
The board of supervisors set up a conference call for 10 a.m. today with Paul Greufe, the board’s negotiator, to discuss a counter-proposal to American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Local 616 initial proposal shared with the supervisors last week.
Morton was joined by Jefferson County Jail Administrator Michael Simons and assistant administrator John Cornelius for the phone call.
Supervisors closed the meeting right after connecting with Greufe on the phone, leaving three supervisors, three law enforcement officers, Dille and county auditor Scott Reneker at the meeting.
The second bargaining session between the two sides is next Monday.