Rural access, fireworks and conservation properties

By Jim Magdefrau

VINTON – Rural access hub, fireworks and conservation properties were on the agenda for the Benton County Board of Supervisors at their meeting Tuesday, April 20, at the service center in Vinton.

A land use hearing was set for May 17 at 9:15 a.m. for Amana Farms Inc. for land in Section 26, Canton Township.

Kirsten Nelson, human resources, discussed a union memorandum of understanding regarding comp time carryover for the secondary roads department. It was approved by the board.

The second and final readings were approved for repealing Ordinance No. 76, and adopting Ordinance No. 77, regarding Benton County Precincts. They also acknowledged the Vinton, Belle Plaine and Walford precincts.

Mona Onken and Mae Hingtgen met with the board on the rural access hub. Hingtgen is with Mental Health/Disability Services of the East Central Region. Onken is with social services. They discussed the future direction of the hub and community perception of what the hub does. They’ve had the hub for two and half years. They stressed the region is committed to the hub. Supervisors asked about how much it is used and if a full-time person is needed. It was stressed by the officials that a crisis doesn’t happen on a part-time basis. They stressed the need for partnership with the county, and that the program is a good resource for the county.

Sandie Degan was at the meeting to discuss fireworks permits. She had concerns about fireworks late at night near her river residence, finishing at 11:30 p.m.. Chuck Yedlik, who has permitted shoots, stressed at their last shoot earlier this month, they were done by 9:05 p.m. He said he didn’t know how many other fireworks were being shot down the river or if those were permitted. His fireworks are done early, and the next event is planned Memorial Day weekend.

Upcoming budget amendments were explained by Auditor Hayley Rippel.

Shelby Williams of Benton County Conservation discussed conservation properties and how they hold title. The conservation board wants to make sure the properties are titled correctly and managed as they should be. They reviewed each property and how they are maintained. Some are titled to Benton County and others are titled to Benton County Conservation. Supervisor Richard Primmer suggested a management agreement rather than changing the names on the titles. The main property under discussion was the roundhouse area park of Atkins, and if it belonged to Benton County or Benton County Conservation. They plan to meet again on this with the county attorney.

Benton County Engineer Myron Parizek met with the board on the 2023 to 2027 secondary road construction program. The plan was approved. The 2023 Iowa Department of Transportation Secondary Road Project budget was approved.

Doug Kozik was at the meeting regarding how detours are affecting the area around Highways 21 and 30, with too many vehicles traveling too fast on the gravel road near the highway work. He said they need to slow people down, and keep people off who don’t belong on that road. He stressed people need to take the detour, and more signs about the detour. The board said they’d check with the engineer, as well as the sheriff on law enforcement.

Parizek said later in the meeting that he had checked the traffic there.


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