Update is given on weeds in Benton County

Benton County Service Center

By Jim Magdefrau

VINTON – The Benton County Board of Supervisors heard about weeds, a proposed development, and made several new hires at the meeting Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021, at the service center in Vinton.

Weed commissioner Ben Bonar presented the 2021 commissioner’s report. He said the weed situation has been constant since he’s been the commissioner. They have been spraying the same way the last 20 years and are slowly chipping away at the thistle problem. The brush situation is also getting a little better. The amount of money spent on spray is about the same. As for weed complaints, they sent out about half of what they did last year. They have tried to be more proactive in addressing weeds.

Bonar also discussed the 2022 Living Roadway Trust Fund grant opportunities. He hopes to convert a pickup into a spray truck.

James Hicks met with the board about developing land off of Third Avenue between Shellsburg and Urbana. Hicks is looking to buy 17 acres of land there and develop it into eight lots. Land Use Administrator Marc Greenlee advised they are looking at a land use change, a preliminary plat and a final plat for approval. He felt it was improper to get too involved until the board actually gets an application. He added there was a public hearing before on this property, but it is a different owner and purpose than what was approved before. Some of the lots are now zoned as commercial. There had been plans for an event center there. He advised the board needed to go back to the beginning on this. Greenlee stressed there is a process involving drainage, septic systems, engineering and surveying, as well as a public hearing. A preliminary plat is also needed. No action was taken.

A Class C liquor license was approved for Kimm’s Sinclair, Blairstown.

The board accepted the resignation of Chris Rider from the sheriff’s office. He retired Dec. 3.

The resignation of Jennifer Zahradnik from the compensation board was approved. Karen Mouchka was appointed to the board.

Jon Kester was appointed to the Benton County Landfill Commission. He will represent Benton County.

Public hearing on redistricting of the supervisors’ districts was set for Jan. 3, 4 and 5, 2022. It must be approved as an ordinance with three readings. The first hearing is Jan. 3 at 8 a.m. with the Benton County Redistricting Committee.

A utility permit was approved for Kinzenbaw Earthmoving and Tim Miller in Leroy Township. They are boring an electrical line.

A wage and classification change was approved for Taylor Pflughaupt. His hourly pay is now $22.69.

New hires were approved for Shane Clark, equipment operator, and Dennis Shea, equipment operator (maintainer) in secondary roads. These are openings created by retirements. Shea’s pay is $22.03 per hour. Clark’s hourly wage is $22.15. They are still looking for a mechanic.

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