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Work progresses on new law enforcement center project

VINTON – The Benton County Board of Supervisors have been busy with work related to the construction of a new law enforcement center, replacing the one lost in the flood of 2008.

The groundbreaking was held June 2 on the project in Vinton.

Last Tuesday, Todd McNall of Design Dynamics met with the board to discuss camera equipment for the parking lot across from the new center. The board agreed to purchase a camera and control equipment from Accurate Controls Inc. for the parking lot, at a cost of $19,404.97. The board also approved a labor quote of $5,875 from the same firm to install the equipment.

Project coordinator Jerry Petermeier requested the board view and choose colors of bricks to be installed on the facility. They opted for “autumn haze” and “Oxford” bricks.

Benton County Attorney David Thompson later questioned why the board had limited options on the bricks, asking that the board ask the architect to provide multiple samples. Benton County Auditor Jill Marlow reminded the board they had taken formal action already on the selection of the brick.

On Thursday morning, the board opened bids for assorted parking lot accessories for the new law enforcement center. Fencing and materials bids went to Life Time Fence Inc, at a cost of $35,550. The lighting and materials bid went to Justice Electric for $3,010.

Land use change denied

Engineer Glen Meisner met with the board regarding the land use change request made by John and Irene Cherveny. Cherveny is seeking to build condominiums on old railroad property to the south of Tara Hills Country Club. The matter had been tabled two weeks before.

Meisner presented a new concept plan which dealt with the wet area of parcel, road, storm basin, and repositioning of the three buildings.

Land use administrator Marc Greenlee said he had received correspondence from Tara Hills Country Club of their opposition to the project. The country club is concerned about future drainage problems, the viability of the sales of the condominium, and the effect of the golf course on the properties.

The board first made a motion to approve the land use change, feeling their concerns were not grounds for denial. However, Supervisor Jason Sanders felt multiple residential units were an incompatible use for the area. The motion was withdrawn, and a new one was made adding that the drainage and storm water runoff issues were addressed to the satisfaction of the county.

Supervisor David Vermedahl voted in favor of it. Supervisors Sanders and Ron Buch were opposed.

According to board minutes, when asked what the best use for the land would be, Sanders said it would be railroad property, as it was originally intended. The board indicated that the applicants could submit another proposal for consideration under a new land use request.

Other business

In other business at the board meeting last Tuesday in Vinton:

- Discussion continued on early retirement incentives.

- The board met with Department of Human Services (DHS) on the reorganization of DHS. Benton County’s staff will increase as staff is transferred from Tama and Linn Counties.

- A resurfacing project was approved for E-66, from old Highway 131 east of Belle Plaine to Luzerne.

UPDATED May 28, 2010 2:53 PM

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