Benton supervisors have routine business on May 5

Benton County Courthouse

VINTON – Watersheds, weeds and permits were on the agenda for the Tuesday, May 5, meeting of the Benton County Supervisors in the Benton County Courthouse in Vinton.

An environmental assessment was approved for the Middle Cedar River Watershed Management Authority. Benton County is the lead county for the 10-county area for the, covering 1.5 million acres. Projects were approved for 13 acres of watershed in Benton County, just south of Garrison. Another project is for a pond, which is nine acres in size, in Tama County, four to five miles west of Traer. The estimated cost for both projects is just over $1 million. Supervisor Gary Bierschenk felt the WMA was doing a great job, and it is something people will look back on 50 years from now.

The WMA report is linked below.

A spray notice was approved from Weed Commissioner Ben Bonar. It is the same notice that was given last year. The only difference is the date. Roadside spraying is planned to start May 13. The effective control date for noxious weeds is June 1. There was discussion on dealing with trees in ditches and spraying near vineyards. Bonar said they work with the landowner as much as possible. Next week, they plan to advertise for seasonal staff. Last year was the first yard for “no spray” signage. He felt this worked well.

Engineer Myron Parizek received approval for a utility permit for East Central Iowa REC in Harrison Township. This is north of Vinton for a new house . They approved a IDOT agreement for County Bridge Federal-Aid SWAP Funding (Bridge on D65, west of Mt Auburn) .

Parizek gave an update on right of way acquisition for a bridge in Florence Township (75th Street) , outside of Norway. This is a project that was tabled several years ago. The county has since hired a land acquisition company. They are still waiting to hear from the owner regarding the county’s offer, so the project will probably be tabled again. Supervisor Tracy Seeman said he’d do some investigating.

Parizek also talked about purchasing a heavy equipment low boy trailer. Parizek received a quote with a trade from Load King, which was approved by the board. This is expected to arrive in early October.

Randy Janssen from Janssen Waterproofing updated the board on additional courthouse repairs. The Janssen additional bid was in two parts: $25,392 is for copper flashing on top of the south elevation above that entrance, and $14,787 was an alternate bid to do some copper on windowsills and part of a banister.

Further action was taken on the new ground transportation building, with the signing of contracts. A contract has yet to be signed for insulation.

Chairman Richard Primmer followed the meeting by YouTube. Bierschenk acted as chairman.

Primmer gave an update on items left at the recycling container in Shellsburg, focusing on items that have been left there that are not recyclable. Another issue is that it is on county property, but most of the problems come from trash brought by city residents. The items also blow onto neighboring properties. Primmer suggested a location in Shellsburg since the container is mainly used by the city residents. Otherwise, he recommended security cameras, fencing or just getting rid of it. He suggested the county check with the city on this. This will be placed on the May 13 agenda. Parizek added that some containers taken to recyclers have almost been rejected due to non-recyclable materials, including some items with addresses from outside of Benton County. Another concern from Primmer is that if there is no place to recycle, items will end up in the ditches.

Primmer said that last week they had a record number of people at the food pantry in Vinton. Challenges come from fewer volunteers due to health concerns, and protecting people who might be waiting outside of the pantry during bad weather. Primmer said he would visit with the panty.

The grand jury tour was scheduled for May 19. It has been postponed to Feb. 11, 2021.

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