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Supervisors deal with term limits, enforcement center

VINTON – New guidelines were reviewed by the Benton County Board of Supervisors regarding attendance of meetings by board and commission members.

The new guidelines allow the supervisors to remove a board or commission member if they do not regularly attend the meetings. This applies to those appointed by the supervisors.

According to board minutes, the resolution approved last Tuesday stresses that boards and commissions serve a vital role in Benton County, and it is necessary for members to regularly attend meetings in order for the commissions and boards to perform optimally.

The supervisors may remove a board member if they miss 25 percent or more of the regularly scheduled meetings. Final was expected at this week’s meeting.

In other business at the Oct. 27 meeting of the board in Vinton:

- The board discussed the proposed application form for use by persons interested in being appointed to county boards and commissions. The form will standardize the application process and enable the board to review potential candidates on the same criteria. This was adopted by the board.

- The board also amended its policy on appointing of public health board members, eliminating term limits for the public health board.

- A Class B Liquor License was approved for Kimm’s Sinclair Blairstown.

- Marc Greenlee, land use administrator, presented an application for a farm exemption for Linda Leaven, which was approved by the board for a parcel of land in Section 22 of Fremont Township.

- A hearing was held on borrowing money for a solid waste improvement project. The board approved a resolution expressing intent to enter into a loan agreement not to exceed $250,000 for improvements at the county solid waste disposal landfill.

- Jerry Petermeier, project coordinator for the law enforcement center, updated the board on various issues on the project. Petermeier reported that demolition was at the removal stage with a crusher being utilized on much of the cement debris. Petermeier also reported on his meetings with the architect and State Homeland Security officials regarding the design of a new facility and the associated codes and standards. Petermeier also briefly discussed the possible grant to emergency management for the construction of a new emergency operations facility and tying that into the law enforcement center.

- The board discussed the possible abatement of taxes due to flood loss, specifically the 2008 flood. Treasurer Kelly Geater and Vinton City Coordinator Andy Lent were present as well as one affected member of the public. The supervisors discussed the need for a specific plan, with definitions of flooding, extent of damage, etc. in order for the abatement to be administered consistently. The treasurer and Lent offered to draft a proposal and present it to the board at their next meeting. The board was in agreement that tax relief should be provided to qualifying victims of the 2008 flood.

- Auditor Jill Marlow spoke with the board about the Community Disaster Grant received by Benton County. The auditor has prepared grant applications, which were awarded for various projects centering on the construction of a new law enforcement center. The grant money cannot be used for any expense that will be reimbursed by FEMA or another agency. The auditor stated that she is required to spend the money by June 2010. However she must submit a written report prior to January 1, 2010 on the specific intended use. The board discussed the possibility of purchasing additional ground near the courthouse or flood protection barriers. No decision was made.

- The board approved utility permits requested by Poweshiek Water to place utility lines in various locations in the county’s right-of-way in Kane, Union, Eldorado, Eden, Big Grove, Homer, Monroe, and Jackson Townships.

Marlow provided information to the board on the current budget and status of the county’s reserves for the purpose of preparing for the FY11 budget. The board briefly discussed the information and indicated that they would review it further and discuss it at a future meeting. Of importance is the amount of funds that will be reimbursed by FEMA for inmate housing, which amount has not yet been determined by FEMA.

UPDATED November 4, 2009 12:29 PM

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