By Jim Magdefrau
VINTON – Carbon pipeline, pioneer cemetery, office space, maintenance.
These were topics for the Benton County Board of Supervisors at their meeting Tuesday, Nov. 9, at the service center in Vinton.
Cole Kruizenga of the Heartland Greenway System Pipeline explained inspection services. A liquid carbon dioxide pipeline is planned across the state and will cross through Benton County. Greenway proposes doing the inspection for this project. A meeting about the pipeline will be held January 3 in Benton County. It is at noon at the Norway Community Center. The supervisors had questions about the material used for the pipe, and its impact on existing gas lines and tiling. The supervisors felt the county attorney needed to look at the proposal.
According to the Iowa Utilities Board, the pipeline is proposed to span approximately 1,300 miles across five states, including Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota. Navigator’s pipeline system would capture carbon dioxide at local facilities, convert it to liquid form, and transfer the liquefied carbon dioxide to a permanent underground sequestration site in Illinois.
Members of the Pioneer Cemetery discussed reestablishing the Stringtown Cemetery. There are about 22 graves in the plot. The board advised the members to check with the county attorney about beginning work on the cemetery. The cemetery is north of Blairstown. They plan to put up a fence and seed it down. They are also hoping to have a plaque with the names of the people buried there. They will come back to the board when they have more information.
A farm exemption was approved for Ray and JoAnn Musil, in Section 2, Canton Township. They would like to build a new house. Land Use Administrator Marc Greenlee said this works with the land use plan. The exemption was approved unanimously.
The board approved the hiring of Ariane Geiger for the treasurer’s office.
Treasurer Melinda Schoettmer explained titling of vehicles from contiguous counties. People who live in counties next to Benton County may come to Benton County to have their vehicles’ titles transferred. This is part of an agreement between the state and auto dealers association. The county is not getting anything extra for this.
Dean Vrba of Benton County Transportation said they are thinking about raising their rates. Benton rates are low when compared to neighboring counties.
Wendi Winkie, Belle Plaine, was approved for the Benton County Historical Preservation Commission.
The board approved the committed funds resolution.
The board approved new hires for communication specialists at the sheriff’s office: Jessica Roberts, Allyssa McAtee and Michelle Ruhs.
The board discussed office space for the Abbe Center at the service center. Three spaces are needed. The board discussed how it impacts office space for the historical society and storage space for the food pantry. They also discussed fees and rent.
Maintenance director Rick Wood talked about janitor services at the service center, and discussed a wage increase for Justin Birker, maintenance assistant. It was recommended a raise be given at the beginning of the fiscal year so it could be put into the maintenance budget.
The board canvassed votes from the city/school election held Nov. 2.
The board discussed the purchase of the Racom tower, as well as an invoice for rent of the tower. The county plans to buy the tower for $25,000. In the meantime, they are expected to pay rent of $1,000 a month. Formal approval is planned after meeting with the county attorney on a legal description and filling out of paperwork for this.