Coming out swingingNew supervisors prepare to take on zoning and sewer issues
Newly elected Washington County Supervisor Jack Seward started two discussions he wants the public to be involved in — the proposed lagoon system in Richmond and rescinding the county’s zoning ordinance.
Seward wants to conduct a work session with the people who will be affected by the proposed lagoon system. He said he wants as much input as possible. He said he specifically wants to hear from the Richmond residents. However, he learned from county attorney Larry Brock that he can limit the topic discussed at a work session but he cannot limit who speaks at the work session.
Supervisor Stan Stoops said the work session needs to be held in Richmond. The preferable site is the Holy Trinity Parish Life Center.
David Rosen of the Residents for a Better Richmond (RBR) said the RBR would be happy to participate. He said there are 80-some houses to be hooked up to the sewer system so there could be a large turnout. He also said RBR is conducting an informal, anonymous survey of Richmond residents to find out their opinions.
Seward and board chairman Ron Bennett want people to contact them before next Tuesday’s meeting on Jan. 15. Seward prefers receiving comments in writing. People may send e-mail to the supervisors at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following that discussion, the supervisors turned their attention to the county zoning ordinance. Seward asked planning and zoning administrator Steve Lafaurie what the impact would be if the county ceased enforcing the ordinance and ceased any citations or court proceedings concerning zoning.
Lafaurie said he didn’t come to the meeting prepared to answer some of Seward’s questions, such as what would happen if the county rescinded the zoning ordinance. Lafaurie said he would prefer the supervisors go to the Planning and Zoning Commission and ask for the commission’s recommendation.
In other business, the supervisors:
• approved a liquor license renewal for Wooden Wheel Vineyards of Keota;
• acknowledged the resignation of a county jailer. Sheriff Jerry Dunbar said he is short four full-time and three casual jailers. He also said the shifts are full and the jailers are working overtime;
• received the quarterly reports for General Assistance and Veterans Affairs;
• listened to a presentation by Michelle Peiffer and Ed Raber concerning the Chamber of Commerce. Peiffer suggested the county join the Chamber of Commerce;
• adopted a resolution for property tax suspension;
• approved the mileage rate increase by 1 cent as requested by the sheriff’s office for serving civil papers and transportation; and
• listened to rural property owner Les Zickefoose concerning land acquisition for a road project.
The board also conducted a closed session in accordance with Chapter 21.5(1)(c) of the Code of Iowa to discuss strategy with counsel in matters that are presently in litigation or where litigation may be pending.