Supervisors, RUSS propose partnership on ordinance enforcement

The Jefferson County Supervisors met Monday to discuss and consider two pieces of business with Regional Utility Service Systems and hear updates from the County Engineer?s Office.

The board spoke with the county?s environmental health specialist Dan Miller and RUSS representative Bruce Hudson to discuss and approve an Iowa Code 28E joint-services agreement where RUSS will take over the responsibilities of EHS should Miller be away, on vacation or otherwise unable to perform his duties.

RUSS also presented a proposal recently requested by the supervisors to take over enforcement duties for the county?s nuisance ordinance. The ordinance which has been a subject of frequent discussions at recent supervisor meetings has vexed the board due to difficulties with consistent enforcement. RUSS is aiming to solve their problem.

The agreement, while still under review by the board specifies each party?s obligations, areas of cooperation and other terms and conditions. Implementing the agreement would require development of a policy document to outline the purpose of the ordinance and to specify how it would be enforced.

?This memorandum of understanding lays out what we would provide in terms of enforcing the chapter 2-30 nuisances and hazardous substances covered under chapter 2-40 would be referred to the appropriate authorities,? said Hudson.

Some minor revisions to the nuisance ordinance are needed, and this in turn would require public readings and at least one hearing.

The board agreed to work on the ordinance changes at their next meeting. RUSS will be composing a draft for a policy document and the parties expect to be prepared for a public hearing followed by approval in approximately one month.


Road work alerts

Brent LaPoint, assistant to the county engineer, briefed the board on recent roadwork in the county noting completion of work on Walton Road and the successful use of the roadwork notification system which pushes information on road closures and traffic interruptions to key stakeholders including area media.

?It?s a road notification system and we set up ourselves, the law center, emergency management, ambulance, the newspaper and radio station and so if we do a road closure it will actually send out a text or email to those particular people. It provides a link to a map that shows you exactly where the work is,? explained LaPoint.

The road department is set to install up to seven tanker car replacements for culvert bridges this construction season. These are a type of train car that commonly carry oil or corn syrup and can be used often in pairs as culverts.

The county purchases them with the ends cut off, and they are installed where a road needs to pass over a waterway such as a stream or creek, eliminating the need for bridges in certain situations. The tanker cars also have no load limit where bridges do and they cost significantly less to install than bridges and have virtually no maintenance requirements.

The board approved a salary adjustment for the County Sheriff?s Department due to a shift change and approved a measure to do dust control on a segment of road near the Mac Coon Access. Next week?s board meeting will be moved from Monday to Tuesday to accommodate Memorial Day.