When to open Benton County? And how?

County is in region that is now restricted

VINTON – Opening the county up again was the major topic of discussion for the Benton County Board of Supervisors at their meeting Tuesday, April 21, in Vinton.

Related to Covid-19, the board talked about why parks are closed to fishing, the impact on the upcoming election, and how to proceed with opening up the county and its parks again. Currently, all Benton County properties are closed to the public through Thursday, April 30.

Benton County is in the northeast region of the state, RMCC Region 6, which is currently restricted due to the state’s assessment. Officials felt that with the meat packing plants in nearby counties and the high number of cases there, there’s no good chance the county will be open by May 1.

The county plans to have meetings with the department heads next week.

In other business:

  • The county plans to work with the City of Newhall regarding an easement for solar panels on county property to power the city’s water works. It was advised that the county should wait until they are sure the city is pursuing installation of the panels. The county has a shed on its property, and they hope the city will mow the property. No action was taken.
  • A land use hearing was set for Tuesday, May 19, 9:15 a.m., for Dustin and Nicole Druschel, for land in Section 11, Taylor Township.
  • A lease agreement was discussed between East Central Iowa Council of Governments and Benton County. Action is planned next week. A lease was also approved between the county and Benton County Agricultural Extension, doing business as as Old School Produce Partners.
  • The board discussed and approved increased insured amounts for the Benton County Services Center and courthouse with Heartland Risk Insurance.
  • A service agreement was approved with Nyhart-Full GASB 75 for an actuarial update.
  • Utility permits were approved for Interstate Power and Light Company. They are retiring overhead lines southwest of Belle Plaine and will go underground with the lines, as well as the north of Belle Plaine, and east of Belle Plaine, according to Benton County Engineer Myron Parizek. A permit was also approved for East Central Iowa REC, to put a line under the ground for one of their customers in Jackson Township. A bridge embargo was removed for a bridge near the Jerry Wauters farm.

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