Public hearing set for nuisance ordinance

The Jefferson County Supervisors met Monday to set a public hearing for changes to the county?s nuisance ordinance and to discuss roadwork with the county engineer including approving funding for a bridge over Germanville Rd.

This Old Barn owners Brian and Cindy Veldhuizen petitioned the board for a liquor license for their catering and event establishment north of Fairfield. The board approved the license after discussion.

The owners explained that they have currently been working with a ?bring your own? policy regarding alcohol which yielded several unpleasant outcomes involving unruly behavior and damage to property.

?We?ve been letting people do their own thing out there, but we?ve had some issues we want to get control of,? said Cindy.

County Engineer Scott Cline reported on recent roadwork projects around the county and submitted a request for funding to be approved for a new bridge on Germanville Rd near 117th St. The project received only one bid of $594,932, coming in under an estimate of almost $612,000.

The request to green light the funding was approved and the funds will come from a combination of federal Department of Transportation funds and local Farm to Market funds. It was unclear of when construction would actually begin, but that it would be no later than April of 2019.

Other work in the county included a bridge replacement on Ironwood using a tanker car type culvert and another one upcoming on 105th St. using two tanker cars. Blading of gravel roads was done as well as mowing and brush cutting.

The board also discussed rock-hauling with Cline and the possibility of using county-hauled rock rather than contract rock for certain sections of roads where better coordination and flexibility with dust-control efforts are required.

A public hearing was set for 9:30 a.m. June 25 on the proposed changes to the nuisance ordinance. A draft version of the ordinance is available in the County Auditor?s Office.

The revisions to the ordinance are largely about enforcement, creating the role of nuisance compliance officer and authorizing the board to designate a third party to fulfill that role. While civil penalties for non-compliance are part of the existing ordinance, they will become much more visible in the revised document.

?Jefferson County has always been this kind of county with no zoning, not a lot of rules and regulations and so here we are passing some rules and regulations and hiring someone to get something done as far as nuisances. I personally think it?s needed in Jefferson County. I think we?ll be a better county in the end,? said supervisor Dick Reed.

Noise complaints were also discussed. County residents Mark Sens and MaryAnn Nordyke complained of an unbearable situation involving a neighbor?s dogs for which the current ordinance offers no relief.

?I have people across the road from me that have six dogs stacked up in their front yard that bark at 110 decibels all day and all night long and there?s nothing I can do,? said Sens.

The board considered the issue a valid concern and agreed to discuss it with the County Attorney and consider adjusting the ordinance to reflect noise as a type of disturbance.

Farm Bureau representative John Sandbothe updated the board and attending media about the Barnyard Bash at Maasdam Barns. The event will be held at Maasdam Barns June 22 from 5-9 p.m. and is open to the public.

The Barnyard Bash celebrates Fairfield?s Agricultural community and heritage and will feature music, vendors, food and family friendly activities and games for kids. The event is sponsored by Farm Bureau and Pilot Grove Bank.