County asked for donationFriends in drive to build three cabins at Lake Darling State Park
Dr. Fay Vittetoe of the Friends of Lake Darling asked the Washington County Board of Supervisors for a $15,000 to $20,000 donation, Tuesday morning, during the supervisors’ weekly meeting. Two other members of the group, Don Kline and Bob Shepherd, also attended the meeting.
Vittetoe said the Friends are in the midst of a $256,000 fundraising drive that would be used to build three four-season cabins in Lake Darling State Park. Funds have already been raised for three cabins, and the current fundraising would add three more to the park. If the goal is met, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) would contribute $200,000.
A man named Jerry B. Robinson of Colorado will match donations up to a total of $50,000 toward the cabins, Vittetoe said.
Vittetoe said that according to the Iowa State University Center for Agriculture and Rural Development, the park contributes $1 to $2 million annually to the local economy. When the improvements to the park are complete, the economic benefit is estimated at $8.5 million a year.
The DNR plans to let bids for the at least three cabins this summer with construction to begin this fall, Vittetoe said, so the Friends group wants to raise the funds before the bids go out. She also said the DNR would be willing to have the donation spread over two fiscal years.
Supervisor Jack Seward Jr. said that he would like to take a week or two before making a decision.
The cost to build one cabin is about $152,000, Vittetoe said, and the cost to rent a cabin is $100 a day. The cabins will be the property of the state and the DNR, which will maintain and manage them.
Auditor Dan Widmer said he would contact the Friends group when the supervisors are ready to take action on the request.
In other business, the board approved the quote from TNT Tuckpointing and Building Restoration for making repairs to the clock tower on the county courthouse. The quote was for $56,000, plus an additional $3,000 to pay for applying a water repellent that would last 20 years.
Public Health administrator Danielle Pettit-Majewski reported that the county board of health accepted the resignations of board of health members Ron Bennett and Lori Bauer. The supervisors approved the appointments of Jack Seward Jr. and Virginia Bordwell to the board of health to complete the unfinished terms of Bennett and Bauer. She also said that Bordwell will likely become chairman of the board, a position she has held previously.
In his closing remarks, Seward said that he hasn’t met with a Habitat for Humanity representative due to the person’s illness. Seward said there is a “distinct possibility” Habitat for Humanity would accept donations from private donors to help six homeowners who cannot obtain loans for private septic systems in Richmond and Rubio. He said the county is not going to be involved in doing so.
Tom Duwa of Richmond asked if Seward received a report from the county attorney about the county’s authority to compel homeowners to install the required septic systems in Richmond and Rubio.
Seward said he has not heard back from the county attorney.