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Everything from hazard planning to a community garden and courthouse remodeling met with approval from the Washington County supervisors Tuesday.
The first is an agreement between the county and the East Central Iowa Council of Governments (ECICOG) for administrative services for a hazard mitigation plan for the county. Total cost will not exceed $30,000 with $22,500 covered by a government grant and the remainder from the county.
“There is a real need for this plan,” said Supervisor Jack Seward, Jr., noting ECICOG previously has handled the administrative planning for the county. The agreement will run from April 18, 2017 through February, 2019.
The community garden, proposed and planned by CHOICES, the downtown Washington drop-in center to aid those with various problems including homelessness, met with equal approval. The garden will be on county land on Lexington Blvd., using an area “about the size of this room (the board office). Individuals will maintain their own plots and there are arrangements underway to haul water to the garden area.
All agreed with Seward that “it is a good idea” and likely will see the garden underway this month.
Plans to remodel the third floor courtroom in the courthouse, initially discussed last fall, received acknowledgment for an upgrade that will turn the law library into office space for attorneys.
County Attorney John Gish said it was needed to provide office space for confidential meetings between lawyers and clients, removing the use of stairwells for conversations that should have guaranteed privacy. As for the library, he said, he did not know of any attorney who uses it. He and the board also noted that all of Iowa code is available on line. There was no discussion about where the books would go.
County Auditor Dan Widmer said the funds already are in the budget, reporting that an estimate from Renoux Builders of Washington is $2,874.19. He said the work likely will be done this summer.
In other business, the board:
• acknowledged the quarterly report form the sheriff ’s department, showing $59,385.15 in receipts, matched by disbursements, and a balance of $18,669.76 in the department trust fund;
• acknowledged the treasurer’s quarterly report that showed receiving $69,165.43 in fee transfers of which the county retains $26,568.13), similar to the same period last year;
• approved re-appointing Aaron Wolf, a county employe to the four-month annual term as county weed commissioner from May 16 through September 15 at $400 per month;
• approved termination of James (Charles (Chuck) Doughty from buildings and grounds, effective March 30, 2017 and of Lee Applegate, county conservation,effective January 1, 2017:
• approved hiring Adrianna Pacha as a summer aide, May 15 to August 30, at $10 per hour and Steve Liebe, county conservation, also at $10 per hour;
• tabled action to next week on a 28E Agreement with the Southeast Iowa LINK Mental Health and Disability Services, pending completion of the formal contract;
• discussed if action is needed regarding tobacco use and vapor cigarettes on county property, especially tag the courthouse site. It had been discussed last fall. The prohibit ignition already is in the county code which led Supervisor Stan Stoops to note they simply needed to follow the existing code. All agreed that the main concern is the courthouse; and
• met in closed session to discuss possible purchase of real estate. No action was taken.