By Jim Magdefrau
VINTON – The Benton County Board of Supervisors looked at a loan agreement with the Benton County Fair Board at their meeting, Tuesday, March 29, at the service center in Vinton. The loan would help to pay for improvements to the grandstand at the Benton County Fairgrounds.
Benton County Attorney David Thompson presented the agreement. He said he had an agreement, but did not like it. He explained the fair board would receive $120,000, which the county is calling a loan. Thompson said he might choose to change this to a grant with 1.5 percent interest. The first payment would be in October 2023. Thompson also asked if it would be more beneficial to use American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) money instead of the local option service and sales tax.
The agreement proposes forgiving $60,000 of this once the fair board has paid it down to a balance of $60,000 or less. The supervisors felt this would give the fair board incentive to raise money. Thompson asked about using this as a loan agreement.
Thompson said he’d have something back for the board by next week after he has sorted this out.
The board dealt with the precinct plan for elections. Gina Edler, deputy auditor recommended not approving the plan from the redistricting committee, which that committee had approved on Friday, March 24, which combined Florence, St. Clair, Norway and Walford together. She worked on a plan which allows two people in Florence Township to vote in Walford. Otherwise an entire area would have to move where they vote because of two people. Edler said she will work to inform those two individuals about the change.
Edler also explained legislative districts in Benton County.
The board approved the new plan. The plan will now be submitted to the Secretary of State.
The new plan would reduce precincts in Benton County from 19 to 18.
The board approved the new precinct plan.
This process is done every 10 years, after the census is taken. Everyone who is affected by a change in their polling place will be notified by mail.
The board approved an IDOT pre-construction agreement for the primary road project, Highway 30 from 11th Ave. Drive to 16th Ave. These deal with county road intersections with state roads. There are nine intersections.
Motor grader purchases for 2023 and 2024 were discussed. The board approved two John Deere motor graders.
Engineer Parizek also presented quotes for a topographical survey and concepts for 61st Street. A survey would look at how much ground and slope are needed, as well as right of way. He had an estimate of $13,800. He said a portion of the cost could be picked up by the City of Vinton. The board approved the survey.
A Class B Liquor License was approved for the Watkins Community Athletic Association.
A public hearing was set for May 3 at 9:30 a.m. for an amendment to the 2022 budget.
The board approved the hiring of Jovis Shoemaker as an Integrated Roadside Management (IRM) intern. His wage is $17 per hour.
The board approved Iowa State Association of Counties (ISAC) insurance renewals. They also approved the 28E benefit agreement with ISAC, donated leave policy, and holiday policy in the handbook. These were presented by Kirsten Nelson, human resources.
Nelson is also working on a memorandum of understanding with the secondary roads department, as well as the sheriff’s office.
Thompson also looked at the Old School Produce lease agreement. The board approved the agreement, observing it is an excellent program. However the board had insurance and liability concerns.
The board approved paying True North Company using ARPA funds for the radio projects. They approved $2,952 for this.
The board approved a payment for a deposit on clocktower repair using ARPA funds. The deposit is $19,500.
A waiver of penalty and interest was denied on Parcel 380-03900, while pointing out the county did not make a mistake on this parcel.
Supervisor Richard Primmer gave an update on juvenile detention.