Land use change brings new event center to Benton County

By Jim Magdefrau

VINTON – Benton County will be getting a new event center, with the approval of a land use change by the Benton County Board of Supervisors in Vinton on Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022.

A land use hearing was held for Dan Wirtanen, for Parcel A, Section 15, Fremont Township. Land Use Administrator Marc Greenlee said the parcel is 2.42 acres and it has numerous buildings. He’d like to remodel one of the barns and use it for an event center. He already had a land use change approved in 2021, when he converted a hog building into an Air B&B. There is not any agricultural land being taken out of production. It meets the county’s driveway requirements and is next to a hard-surfaced road. It has rural water and a well. It will need a new septic system. It will be a non-conventional system. With it being near Atkins and a hard-surfaced road, Greenlee said he saw no conflicts with this particular use.


Wage and classification change was approved for Shane Clark. His hourly wage will be $25.84. His classification is senior operator.

Benton County Engineer Myron Parizek also talked about a 28E agreement with the City of Norway on maintenance of farm-to-market extensions. Parizek explained road use taxes and how these will be impacted by having Norway’s population being under 500 people. The agreement is similar to one the county has with Garrison.

As for the potential onset of winter weather in holiday season, Parizek observed, “We’re going to try to be as ready as we can be.”


A waiver of separation distance was discussed for manure storage per Iowa Code Section 459.205 for Geno Source LLC at 2188 78th Street, Blairstown. Supervisor Chairman Tracy Seeman asked about the size of the tank and the setback. The setback is less than what the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) requires. The DNR setback is 100 feet. The tanks will be 75 feet back. However, this is the best location for this, County Engineer Parizek related from Geno Source. Seeman later called Geno Source. The tanks are 115 feet in diameter. Seeman also talked about the need for a culvert on the driveway. With two tanks, they would hold 3.6 million gallons of manure. They plan to capture the methane. The waiver was approved.

Other business

Mona Onken received approval for out-of-state training in Rochester, Minn. She is with Benton County Social Services.

Vacation carryover was approved for Sarah Wagner. She is with Benton County Social Services.

The board acknowledged the fair board’s loan repayment, plus interest. This is for the fairground’s grandstand project.

Liz Rodriguez met with the board a shared liability agreement with East Central Iowa Workforce Development update. Benton County is in this group, with Jones, Johnson, Cedar, Iowa and Washington Counties. Iowa Workforce Development is looking for an entity to get Title I grant funds. They are looking at East Central Iowa Council of Governments to coordinate the funds. The grant amount was $22 million this year. The fee is 10 percent of the grant amount. The current fiscal agent is Johnson County. Jones County is employer of record. She also explained proposed realignment efforts.

Kristymarie Shipley met by tele-conference with the board on pending litigation. A closed session was held, pursuant to Iowa Code 21.5(1)c.

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