Inmate repays jail for housing him
Washington County Sheriff Jerry Dunbar told the Board of Supervisors that Thomas Hansen has paid for his time spent in the county jail. Hansen was housed in the jail for 645 days for which he paid $22,605. The news came at the end of the board’s meeting Tuesday morning.
“That was kind of a shock — much appreciated,” Dunbar said.
“Who paid the bill?” Supervisor Bob Yoder asked.
“He did,” Dunbar replied.
“Out of his own personal funds?” Yoder asked
“Yes,” Dunbar said.
“That was pretty decent of him, really,” Supervisor Stan Stoops said. “He took a one-way trip to the joint, right?”
Supervisor Steve Davis asked, “Usually on them, would we get stuck with that?”
The answer was yes.
Hansen was convicted of second-degree murder for shooting and killing his live-in girlfriend. He was sentenced to 50 years and he has to serve for 35 years. He is 72 years old and would have to live to be 107 to be released from prison.
In other business, the board approved two changes to the county’s dust control policy. County engineer Jacob Thorius recommended the changes. The first change was to cite Code of Iowa Chapter 37.08, which was approved. The second change was to add magnesium chloride as one of the chemicals that could be used for dust control.
Thorius presented a summary of the policy to the board and went over it for the three new supervisors.
Thorius estimates that it costs the county about $56,000 a year to prepare the gravel roads where residents apply dust control. He said that is about $210 per location. However, he also said it’s hard to track what the county is spending.
Rural residents who want dust control pay a $50 fee for a permit. Residents who miss the April 30 deadline pay $100 for the permit. They also pay for the cost of dust control.
The Secondary Roads Department spends about two weeks in the spring, summer and fall preparing for dust control. If the road becomes rough or potholed, the county will blade the area without compensating the resident for damage to the dust control.
Supervisor Jack Seward wanted to know how much residents pay for dust control.
Thorius said it varies from $400 to $750, depending on what type of coating is put down and that price includes two coats. He also said that he wants to maintain the crown of the roads for the safety of the driving public. He also said dust control is a “lose-lose proposition” because of the added work to the department.
Some residents apply dust control for health reasons, Thorius said.
Stoops suggested that the fee might be increased by $5 or $10 next year.
The supervisors unanimously approved the policy changes with no increase in fees.
Last year, Thorius said there were 198 applications which resulted in $10,000 in fees collected.
The board approved a contract with Calhoun-Burns and Associates Inc. for bridge design services. Thorius said the county has worked with the company in the past. The company will design a bridge or reinforced concrete box culvert on G26 about 1.5 miles past Ginkgo Avenue. He said the money is in the budget and it has been in the county’s five-year plan.
Before adjourning the supervisors said that all of them will attend the zoning ordinance work session scheduled for 6:30 p.m. today at the Washington County Extension office building.