Tracy Vance resigns FEDA post to become deputy
Jefferson County Board of Supervisors approved hiring Tracy Vance today as a county sheriff deputy.
Vance sent out a notice today that he has given his resignation as executive director of Fairfield Economic Development Association to the FEDA board of directors. His resignation is effective Nov. 29.
Jefferson County Sheriff Gregg Morton, at today’s supervisor meeting, said Vance was on the list of candidates approved in June. Morton had hired two new deputies, Jacob Riley and Justin Smith, from the same qualified candidates list in August, bringing his department up to full strength.
“Deputy Ryan Richardson is resigning to go back into banking,” said Morton today. “Vance was one of the qualified candidates on the list.”
In his notice sent today, Vance wrote, “It has been my pleasure to work with an outstanding board of directors, past and present, of the Fairfield Economic Development Association. With the support of the board and FEDA membership we have been able to accomplish many things that have placed Fairfield and Jefferson County in a position of strength and growth.”
FEDA President Lori Schaefer-Weaton said board level discussions would begin at once to search for a new executive director, according to Vance’s notice.
“Tracy’s efforts have been instrumental in seeing the growth we are now seeing in Fairfield,” said Schaefer-Weaton. “Our community and our organization are stronger today because of his leadership.”
Vance said he would attend the state law enforcement academy beginning in mid-January.
The supervisors accepted the purchase offer of $42,500 from Jerry Story for the former county attorney’s office at 117 W. Broadway Ave. Story did not attend the meeting, but was represented by Doug Alexander, broker/owner of Jefferson County Realty.
In June, the county had offered the empty office building at auction with a minimum bid at $40,000. No one met the minimum bid and the supervisors decided to list the property with a local real estate business. Fairfield Farm & Home Real Estate was drawn from a hat among Fairfield’s real estate offices earlier this month.
Supervisor Dick Reed told those at the June auction a realty appraisal of the office space was $50,000 and the county assessor valued the building at $76,000.
County railroad crossing
Jefferson County Engineer Scott Cline said a project the county had formerly been told could be done is now off the table.
The supervisors and Cline had discussed several months ago the Tangerine Avenue railroad crossing that is parallel to Highway 34.
In January, Cline told supervisors the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad would install flashing lights and automatic gates at the crossing with Tangerine Avenue. All the installation costs would be paid by the railroad and federal money. The county’s only cost would have been if signs needed to be replaced or newly installed on the county portion of the road approaching the crossing, Cline had said.
“I received a letter, the Iowa Department of Transportation received notice BNSF railroad is not going to advance with this project,” said Cline today. “IDOT has de-funded the project because the railroad has said it would not go through with this.”
The supervisors agreed the crossing is dangerous because traffic from the 65 mph four-lane Highway 34 making turns north onto Tangerine Avenue come very quickly to the railroad crossing. It is marked with crossed arms and flashing lights, but no automatic gates.