Fairfield Ledger
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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Jun 19, 2018

Board talks Dakota Access pipeline inspection

By Jon Gilrain, Ledger correspondent | May 30, 2018

The Jefferson County Supervisors met Tuesday to consider hiring French-Reneker-Associates to inspect upcoming restoration work on a section of the Dakota Access Pipeline in Jefferson County.

They also advanced the ongoing effort to address deficiencies in the county’s implementation of its nuisance ordinance.

 

Pipeline

French-Reneker-Associates CEO Stephen Hausner addressed the board regarding a notification by Dakota Access of upcoming restoration and maintenance work on a section of the pipeline in the county. It was not specified yet when the work would be done or how long it would take.

The work would center on fixing settlement and sinkage issues of the ditch-line around several sections of the pipeline on private property as well as on county right-of-way land. The pipeline work has previously been inspected by French-Reneker-Associates to the county’s satisfaction.

Settlement issues around the pipeline are expected over time and while maintenance work done by DAPL is of no cost to the county, it’s not clear that the county would be reimbursed for the inspection work.

The board was content to have this follow-up work done without adding potential taxpayer expense. The board tabled the question pending actual evidence that there would be problems with the pipeline work.

“Somewhere in the world there’s got to be a little trust,” said supervisor Dick Reed. “And I’d like to trust that this company is going to come in and do the work and see if they can get the work done right without the county taxpayers paying for it.”

 

Nuisance ordinance

The board discussed setting a public hearing for June 11 to hear feedback from county residents about minor changes to the nuisance ordinance which makes it capable of designating an agent with the authority of the board of supervisors to act as a compliance officer.

The motion was tabled until next week’s board meeting so that certain additional changes to the ordinance could be made before setting the hearing. The target date for the public hearing is still June 11.

If the proposed changes to the ordinance are approved, the board will likely also approve a new policy and procedures document which details the roles and responsibilities between the county and the newly created role of Jefferson County nuisance compliance officer.

The board would also then approve the memorandum of understanding detailing the specific relationship between the county and Regional Utility Service Systems, which would then take over the role of NCO as a designated agent of the county per the new ordinance.

The policy document also sets forth provisions that preserve the rights and privileges of county residents, protecting the public and environment by establishing minimum standards for interpreting and enforcing the ordinance.

Residents ordered to abate a nuisance would have the opportunity to request a hearing with the board of supervisors within 30 days of an initial certified-letter being sent to them by the NCO.

 

Tax increment financing

The board approved a resolution regarding a tax increment financing funded development agreement with city of Fairfield and Fairfield Community School District to add infrastructure to an expanding housing development off Libertyville Road to the east and adding an extension to Court Street.

In other updates from the supervisors, construction work is being completed on sidewalks outside the Jefferson County Courthouse. Maasdam Barns will be holding its 2018 Barnyard Bash on June 22. Early Childhood Iowa will be maintaining or slightly increasing its budget.

10-15 Transit is operating with a substantial budget surplus and is considering lowering its fees.

The public transportation organization serves a 10-county area including Jefferson County and provides rides to a variety of local entities including the general public.

 

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