No-parking ordinance proposedRichmond reports 32 homeowners have replaced septic systems
Most of this morning’s Washington County Board of Supervisors meeting was spent on a proposed county ordinance to prohibit parking of motor vehicles along county roads, prepared by county engineer Jacob Thorius.
Thorius explained that the way some vehicles park in the dead-end area of Vine Avenue (old Highway 218) near its junction with Highway 92 affects snow removal operations and maintenance. There is county-owned land nearby that is available for the public to use as a park-n-ride parking area. This used to be the site of a weigh station, also referred to as “the old Scale House area.” Thorius said there is “ample room” for parking in that area.
The proposed ordinance to create no-parking areas isn’t specific to this area. Thorius said the ordinance was set up so that the board of supervisors can set no-parking areas by resolution. No-parking signs will be placed in areas where the parking is prohibited.
Under the ordinance, County Attorney Larry Brock said that the county engineer’s department could cite drivers who violate no-parking zones. He also said that people who repeatedly violate the ordinance could be prosecuted as a simple misdemeanor and be subject to 30 days in jail.
Brock also said a violator could be fined up to $750. However, Thorius and Supervisor Jack Seward Jr. said they would prefer a fine of $25. Subsequent citations could be more expensive.
The supervisors unanimously approved the first reading and moved the ordinance on to a second reading. Brock and Seward will meet to develop a tiered system of fines. Brock said that changing the ordinance in this way could be done without starting the ordinance procedure all over again.
Seward updated the board on the Richmond and Rubio sewer projects and the Regional Utility Service Systems (RUSS) Board. RUSS has been paid in full, he said.
Richmond resident Tom Duwa thanked Seward and the board for their work on the sewer system projects. He said the 32 homeowners replaced their septic systems at an average cost of $10,000 each.
Seward said that there are 13-15 systems to go in next spring. He said a lot of progress has been made and that the county is “well on the way of complying with the DNR (Iowa Department of Natural Resources).”
Supervisor Stan Stoops said that many people may not be aware that Seward ran for the board of supervisors because he did his own research on the Richmond and Rubio projects and that he found some irregularities. Stoops also thanked Duwa and Randy Berg of Richmond for helping out in Rubio.
Sheriff Jerry Dunbar presented two personnel changes to the supervisors and the supervisors approved the changes.
Dunbar hired Chuck Pettrone to serve as a transportation officer for inmates of the county jail on an as-needed basis.
The second change was the retirement of Deputy Beryl Butterbaugh. Butterbaugh put in 35 years as a county deputy. He didn’t want anything special planned for him, Dunbar said. Donations were raised to buy a plaque for Butterbaugh and to buy his service weapon from the county.
There are eight candidates for deputy, and Dunbar thinks the decision will be made by the end of the year. He also said he is hiring three part-time jailers.
County Auditor Dan Widmer presented the annual Urban Renewal Report for fiscal year 2012-13. The county has one urban renewal area, which is Riverside, Widmer said. Tax incremental financing (TIF) was used to build Riverside’s water plant. The TIF outstanding debt on July 1, 2012, was approximately $4.4 million. The balance as of June 30, 2013, is about $2.6 million. The TIF will be paid up in 2015.
Supervisor Richard Young said that he and Thorius have been working on the proposed all-terrain vehicle (ATV) ordinance for the county. He also completed the DNR’s ATV safety course. It cost $35 and took him six hours to complete. He and Thorius made some changes to the proposed ordinance which they will give to Ken Miller, the county resident who has been leading the ATV ordinance effort.