First quarter endsSupervisors receive three quarterly reports
Three Washington County department heads gave reports of their activities for the first quarter of fiscal year 2013 to the Board of Supervisors during the board’s weekly Tuesday morning meeting. They were Steve Lafaurie, Planning & Zoning administrator; Jeff Garrett, county treasurer; and Jo Greiner, county recorder.
Garrett and Greiner both said that cost of collecting fees for the state are not fully covered. For example, Garrett said the average cost to issue driver’s licenses by Iowa’s counties is about $10. Washington County can only retain $7. Greiner said she is on a statewide committee that is trying to convince legislators to increase the fees counties can keep. Both reported that the state Legislature doesn’t want to increase the retention rate to cover the counties’ costs.
Lafaurie said that 16 applications were processed under the category of subdivision coordination, nine of which were for ag-related plats.
He said the first quarter was the peak of the construction season and that he dealt with 36 new zoning permit applications. He said 12 were for new homes and seven were for accessory buildings and/or detached garages and several miscellaneous for structures or decks. Three applications were for existing legal nonconforming commercial uses and two for commercial buildings or related additions.
The total permit construction value (not including ag) for the quarter was $3,170,695.
Lafaurie said that he has worked with some enforcement issues. One concerns a commercial property owner adjacent to Kalona. A citation was issued to the owner for failure to remove items (tires) stored outdoors without the proper screening.
Lafaurie said that he is working with two other sites that need to be screened when adjacent to residential properties. He has sent follow-up letters requiring the industrial properties comply with the ordinance.
Lafaurie is also working with a flood insurance rate map from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and he has spoken about zoning with the Kalona Chamber of Commerce and the Washington Kiwanis AM’ers. He titled these presentations “What’s So Bad About Zoning?”
Garrett reported collecting approximately $1.5 million in motor vehicle title/registration fees and driver’s license fees for the months of July, August and September. He retained nearly $59,500 for those fees. He also collected $270 in additional fees, bringing the total retention fees to $59,748.
Greiner provided a breakdown of the types of fees collected by the recorder’s office. The total number of documents for the first quarter was 1,446 for which the office received $1,289 in fees for those documents. The total for all fees collected was $77,051, with $38,528 collected for the county and $38,522 for the state.
In other business, the county will accept bids for renting farm ground owned by the county by 9 a.m. Oct. 30. The bids will be opened during the board of supervisors’ meeting at 9:30 a.m. Auditor Dan Widmer said there is a total of 108.14 acres. Once the initial bids are open, Widmer said those vying for the ground will be able to change their bids. Supervisor Ron Bennett asked if the process was like an auction and Widmer said, “Yes.”
The supervisors will next meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18 in the second-floor courtroom in the county courthouse to conduct a public hearing about amending the county’s 28E agreement with the Regional Utility Service Systems (RUSS) for the Richmond sewer system project.