OTTUMWA — The Wapello County Board of Supervisors announced there will soon be lighting at the Blackhawk Road boat dock site.

The contract for the project with Alliant Energy will be placed on next week’s agenda, supervisor Jerry Parker said. The project figures to be two phases in conjunction with the city of Ottumwa. The first phase would include installing two light poles and a light over the ramp; the second would be an archery range the city is interested in developing.

Alliant will install the electricity initially for $4,700, which the county will pay. The city will pay for the rent on the lights and energy usage.

“We’re looking at ways to reduce that cost,” Parker said. “If the city will run the loop and put the meter in, it will reduce the cost, so Alliant is now talking to the city to see what they can and will do to reduce those costs.”

The county wanted to put in electricity at the boat dock because there is no light within an immediate distance, and there had been increased interest in it. Parker mentioned a church group that had taken a pontoon to fish on the Des Moines River, which the ramp serves, and the return took longer because “it was pitch black.”

But, Parker said, the county is paying with the hopes of expansion in that area.

“The site has tremendous potential,” Parker said. “There is space there. So, where we dump the dirt, that can be leveled out and seeded and could be a nice campground there.”

Parker added that there needs to be more done in the area.

“If you go over there on a weekend in the summer, you’ll see eight, 10, 12 vehicles there,” he said. “I suspect some of those are family members who don’t want to go up or down the river, and they just want to camp there.

“The disappointing part would be if we tried to save some money and just ran something back there for the lights, and development occurred and we’d have to go back and start over and run new power,” Parker said. “So we’re running sufficient power with the expectation there will be expansion back there.”

Because the contract will be on the agenda, Parker said, Alliant will be able to begin some of the work.

“They’re three weeks out on their to-do list,” he said. “They just have to run about 200 yards of wire and set two posts. Their time on it will be a couple days.”

In other business:

— During a public hearing, the board approved $8,636 for the Community Development Block Grant Project, which will help the county’s Emergency Management Commission provide sanitizing equipment for community health and safety at sporting and community events due to COVID-19. The county also will purchase a Chlorox 360 machine for the EMC to loan to groups and organizations to be used for cleaning workplaces and emergency vehicles. Portable hand-washing sinks and stands will also be purchased and loaned as needed.

According to the project outline, it is estimated that at least 51% of the CDBG assistance will benefit low- and moderate-income persons.

— The county approved a maintenance and support agreement for $2,268 for LiveScan, which is to be used by the sheriff’s office. The machine will allow the office to process fingerprints electronically and send them automatically to the Department of Criminal Investigation, Sheriff Don Phillips said.

— Megan Logan was hired as Children’s Care Coordinator in the Community Services Office; Taylor Rodeffer was approved as a part-time clerk in the county attorney’s office, and Mary Elizabeth-Ann Griebel was approved as a communications specialist (dispatcher) in the sheriff’s office.{div}— The supervisors approved the treasurer’s investment report for August. At the end of the month, the county had a balance of $22,058,484.91 among six entities.{/div}

Chad Drury can be reached at, and on Twitter @ChadDrury


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