Supervisors want recycling efforts near Shellsburg to improve, or trailer will be removed from site

County officials meet with the supervisors on June 30 in Vinton.

VINTON – Recycling, billboards, security and coping with Covid-19 were the main topics for the Benton County Board of Supervisors when they met Tuesday, June 30, at the courthouse in Vinton.

Shellsburg recycling trailer

Supervisor Tracy Seeman relayed information he’d received from the Shellsburg mayor on moving the county’s recycling trailer into the City of Shellsburg. Council members feel that it could be a mess in the city, and doesn’t want one in the city limits, Seeman related.

The county has concerns about contamination in what is put in recycling trailer. Seeman observed there are only a few that are messing it up for everyone, but if the mess happens again, the trailer will be gone. Supervisor Gary Bierschenk pointed out that even if the trailer it taken out, people will still leave their stuff there. It will take awhile.

It was suggested to Seeman that if the trailer is moved and “no dumping” signage is placed there, then charges may be filed.

Seeman said he wants to give the trailer one more chance.

It was also pointed out that Van Horne and Vinton have county trailers, and their areas are kept clean. They are concerned about contamination in recycling because it can lead to loads being rejected.

Seeman observed about the trailer outside of Shellsburg, “They are on watch … Either ship up, shape up or you’re going to be shipped out.”

No action was taken. It will be on the agenda for next Tuesday, July 7.

Billboards

Mark Mossman, Vinton, was at the meeting to talk about billboards. In the last two or three years he’s noticed that leading into small towns, drivers are faced with several billboards along the county highways. He said he knows they serve a purpose, but wondered if they can strike a balance. He felt billboards can constitute a real eyesore in county’s countryside.

Supervisor Chairman Richard Primmer observed they don’t have any restrictions in the county. It should be part of a comprehensive plan, which the county does not have. Mossman felt there could still be just an ordinance on signage. Primmer said it warrants consideration, but it needs to be part of a bigger plan. Mossman suggested forming a committee to look into this, and he’s be willing to serve on it.

Security

Sheriff Ron Tippett read a new law that requires having a screener at a building if the country restricts carrying firearms at that building. Otherwise, the building can’t be restricted. This impacts the county’s service center, which does not have a full-time officer or screening machine. This will go on the agenda for July 7. A security meeting is also needed to make a recommendation, according to Tippett. The security committee planned to meet Thursday.

In other security discussion, since the courthouse has reopened, citizens are using the dropbox outside of the courthouse, and are making appointments. The county is considering an awning for citizens waiting to enter the building. Officials talked about wearing masks, Covid-19 counts for the county, how to handle vacations, testing, distancing, cleaning and the jail.

Other business

Contracts were presented by Kate West, who is on the board for Decat/CPPC (Community Partners for Prevention of Child Abuse) for Benton and Iowa Counties. A new coordinator will start July 13.

The board approved Scott Hepker’s resignation from the transportation department.

The county approved FY21 Salary Certifications for deputies in the Auditor’s, Recorder’s, Treasurer’s, Sheriff’s and Assistant County Attorney’s Office.

Officials discussed a vacant office at the service center.

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