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
Job Corps is ready; are you?
OTTUMWA — As winter approaches, a location in Ottumwa has become one of only six places in the state to be certified "StormReady." Officials from the National Weather Service recognized the Ottumwa Job Corps center as one of their StormReady Supporte
- Native Ottumwan entering musical stardom OTTUMWA — Nationally known stars are few and far between in the rural fields of the Midwest, but they are there if you know where to look. Though he isn’t yet a household name around the world, Thad Fiscella, a native Ottumwan, is climbing the ladder
- Blakesburg sewer project almost completed BLAKESBURG — Blakesburg City Council learned Monday that the first phase of the sewer improvement project is finished. Kent Rice, project manger for Visu-Sewer, explained that the two-year guarantee began from the date of formal acceptance, which
- Patient becomes doctor OTTUMWA — The straight "A" high school student and talented bowler could not stop the migraines. But they stopped her. Over a decade later, Dr. Tara Gooden still remembers pulling the sheets over her head to block out the light and the pain that kept
- Cardinal Elementary visited by Miss Iowa ELDON — Santa Claus isn’t the only person traveling all around Iowa preaching the importance of giving during this time of the year. Chelsea Fullenkamp, who was recently named Miss Iowa U.S. Miss for 2014, gave a special visit to children at Cardinal
- New defense attorneys in Techel case OTTUMWA — The attorneys who represented Seth Techel at two inconclusive trials have been allowed to withdraw from the case. Steven Gardner and Robert Box asked to leave the case after Techel’s second trial on charges of murder and nonconsensual termi
- Pending freeze boosts river level OTTUMWA — If you’ve driven over the Market Street Bridge or the Jefferson Street Viaduct in the past couple days, you’ve probably noticed that the river has more water in it. A lot more. After months of staying mostly below one foot, the river has ju
- Partnership could boost economy OTTUMWA — Seeing a vibrant economy here is going to take a team; and while that team may or may not contain certain members, it must have the community’s high school. That was the message from Tom Rubel at Monday's meeting of the Ottumwa school board
- New home for SIEDA OTTUMWA — Most people getting services at the Southern Iowa Economic Development Agency's newly renovated Community Action building won't have far to go from the current SIEDA location. "It's just one building over," said Brian Dunn, executive direct
- OEDC director taking new position OTTUMWA — After nearly three years as the executive director of the Ottumwa Economic Development Corp., David Barajas Jr. announced Monday that he will be stepping down at the end of the year and that he has accepted a new position in Marshalltown. H
- More Local News Headlines
- Job Corps is ready; are you?