Sign up once, and you’re a member forever.
That’s the belief of the Wapello County Board of Supervisors. The board joined the Regional Utility Service Systems (RUSS) 14 years ago, but now they want out. RUSS leaders say Wapello County cannot leave.
RUSS is a 28E organization created in 1999 to provide smaller incorporated and unincorporated communities with sewer systems.
Supervisor Greg Kenning said they’re “still attempting to get out of RUSS,” an issue that goes back to 2010.
“We’re still trying to get out of the agreement, and RUSS keeps saying we can’t leave,” he said. “We haven’t paid dues since 2010.”
Kenning noted that neighboring Davis County dropped out of RUSS about a year before Wapello County did.
“Now RUSS has determined the Davis County departure was improper,” Kenning said. “RUSS sent Davis County a bill and told them their procedure was improper.”
Two other counties left, but RUSS leadership said the withdrawal wasn’t official, and both counties are still considered RUSS members.
Kenning said Wapello County could be subject to a lawsuit if they don’t pay the dues.
“During the last election cycle, four of the supervisors on the RUSS board were beaten,” Kenning said. “Two of them were connected directly to a RUSS issue, and one lost his bid in the primary.”
Kenning said the problem is the way the 28E agreement was written.
“There was no out — you signed on for the duration,” he said. “RUSS has added counties and only subtracted one, and that was done improperly.”
Bruce Hudson, the executive director of RUSS, said he wants the public to remember that Wapello County was one of the founding members.
“Maybe they’re not the current board, but their thinking is there in putting the organization together,” he said. “Wapello County is one of the six counties that formed RUSS.”
Hudson also said that when a county wants out, that action leaves the other member counties holding the bag.
“If a member county doesn’t pay, then the burden goes to those who are paying,” he said.
Hudson also fears not having a sewer system in rural portions of southern Iowa will mean an increase in hepatitis and hookworm problems as the water supply shrinks.
Supervisors have been trying to get out of agreement since 2010
Sign up once, and you’re a member forever.
- Local News
- Wildwood could be your home OTTUMWA — There was always one child per class who just adored school. If they went to Wildwood, they may soon be able to move in permanently. The Ottumwa board of education met Monday, where staff told them where the district stood as far as "facili
- A changing roster -- for school board OTTUMWA — If the last time you saw your board of education was before Christmastime, the current school board might surprise you. Two members retired from the board: longtime educator Ron Oswalt stepped down, as did board president Carol Mitchell. Bo
Lottery sales top $3 million mark
OTTUMWA — Mother Nature may have thrown Iowans a brutal winter, but it didn’t stop them from venturing out to buy lottery tickets. On Tuesday, the Iowa Lottery confirmed that it had topped the $3 million mark in sales for the third consecutive year.
The Art of Kong
OTTUMWA — The Mona Lisa. Whistler's Mother. Donkey Kong? Don't be so surprised, said Walter Day, that video games and the surrounding memorabilia are being considered art. The creativity and artistic vision required to create a poster, said the found
Slideshow: Truck overturns on roundabout
- Veteran finally receives his medals OTTUMWA — A World War II injury may have saved the life of a U.S. Coast Guardsman from Iowa, but he lost friends and a box of military awards. Francis Hardy Harbour was born on Dec.16, 1919, in Drakesville. He joined the Coast Guard in 1941 as a mach
- Cool summer leading to cool fall? OTTUMWA — By late July, the average daytime high temperature starts to drop. What is normally the hottest part of the year is over. Averages are still in the mid-80s, and it certainly wouldn’t be out of the ordinary to see days in even the upper 90s.
Grant helps Hills keep students on track
OTTUMWA — Thanks to a grant designed to improve graduation rates, Indian Hills Community College now has even more tools in its campuswide effort to help students with needs and give them the resources they need to stay in class. Indian Hills is one
BBQ dinner with a hundred friends
ELDON --- This year's Eldon Rib Cook-off was won by three BBQ chefs --- and about 150 hungry visitors. "I was down here last year, too," said Dwayne Yates from Floris, who was biting into his third smoked rib. "I never had a bad one yet." That's what
- Mediacom: Rural cable consumers and companies mistreated OTTUMWA --- You may want to add just a racing channel, a court channel or a nature channel to your cable line up. Unfortunately, you'll probably have to buy a "bundle," which, ironically, is what it will cost you here in Wapello County. That's accord
- More Local News Headlines