Kness named bankpresident/CEO
FAIRFIELD — Iowa State Bank & Trust Company of Fairfield has announced the appointment of Aaron Kness as its president and CEO.
Kness takes over the position previously held by Jon Simplot, who retired from the bank in March after 25 years of service.
Kness has 17 years of experience in banking and finance and is a graduate of both the University of Iowa’s College of Business and the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Most recently, Kness served as market president for U.S. Bank, where he led three branch offices in Washington, Williamsburg and Richland. Prior to U.S. Bank, Kness held the title of vice president of commercial lending at Iowa State Bank & Trust in Fairfield.
“I am excited and humbled to return to Iowa State Bank as president/CEO,” he said. “It’s an honor to lead a team of such outstanding people, and I’m thrilled to be doing business in my adopted hometown again.”
Kness and his wife, Terri, have two children, and reside in Fairfield.
Pathfinders receives grantfor mine reclamation
OTTUMWA — Pathfinders Resource Conservation and Development, Inc. received a $100,000 Watershed Cooperative Agreement grant from the Office of Surface Mining. The grant will be used to help fund reclamation of the “Glenn South” Abandoned Mine Land (AML) site in Wapello County. Other partners in the project include the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Division of Soil Conservation and the Wapello Soil and Water Conservation District.
Surface coal mines that ceased operations before 1977 were not required to be “reclaimed” by the operator once the mining stopped. This means an area strip-mined for coal was often left with large piles of the overburden that was stripped away so coal could be extracted.
Unreclaimed mine lands present several environmental and aesthetic problems including exposed remnant coal leading to acid mine drainage, acid mine drainage lowering the pH in receiving waterbodies which negatively affects aquatic life and reduces biodiversity, acidic soils do not support the growth of vegetation so landscapes look barren and the soil continues to runoff without vegetation to hold it in place and dangerous “highwalls” and large, steep spoil piles from mining activity that can be hazardous to people and animals traversing the site.