Van Buren County Supervisors canvassed the election results, discussed sanitary waste systems and heard updates on current road projects during Monday’s regular meeting.
• County Engineer Dave Barrett said secondary road department employees prepared for vacating Underwood Avenue, north of J56, at a cost of $3,137.60; repairing a slide in Henry Township, section 9; and replacing culverts in Jackson Township.
• Barrett said a total of 10,809 tons of rock were placed in May, about half in district 4 (topping). Supervisor Marvin Philips said the roads looked to be in good shape and recommended the secondary roads to concentrate more on other projects, such as culverts. Barrett said he agreed. Supervisor Mark Meek also asked Barrett if employees could unplug drain holes on the Bonaparte river bridge.
• Barrett also said the general contractor is on site at the W30 resurfacing project at Stockport. They are currently doing the major patches and will clean up the top of the pavement. A portable cement plant will be moved in. Some will be landlocked during this time, and he has notified them.
• Lindee Thomas, public health administrator, asked the board’s opinion on how to proceed with the septic situation in Selma. Currently, seven of the 27 properties in Selma have legal systems. Currently there are three houses that are considering connecting into one system, according to County Sanitarian Miles Boatman.
“You can go up to four houses per filter,” Boatman said.
Boatman said, after checking with the county attorney, residents would have to have easements and some sort of agreement to operate, which outlines how repairs would be made and costs shared.
Supervisors advised to “proceed with caution” in having multiple houses hooked to the same filter.
“I think you are opening up a can of worms,” said Philips.
When RUSS had originally considered a system for Selma, hooking up a few houses to the same system had drawn the ire of residents, Philips noted.
“I’d like to see individual systems, but I understand there are issues,” Philips said.
Boatman said, in this case, the residents wanted the multiple system because of space issues.
“If we don’t do anything, the DNR will come in,” Boatman said. However, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources would look positively on “moving ahead,” he noted.
Meek agreed with Philips. Supervisors directed public health to “proceed with caution, move forward with minimal county expense.” They recommended that any agreements or easements be done privately, between the parties involved, so the county isn’t responsible.
• Philips reported on attending the June 4 Mt. Sterling City Council meeting where the council took action to reduce their council members from 5 to 3, voted to unincorporate and stated their intent to proceed with action to deed the city hall and town park to the Mt. Sterling Betterment Association.
• Judy Funk, manager of the Heartland Insurance Risk Pool, was present to update the board on the Heartland Insurance Risk Pool and review coverages and premiums. Total premium is $182,282, which includes discounts and credits.
• The supervisors received an unsolicited offer to buy land at the county quarry, in section 21 of 69-10, for $3,000 per acre. The land is 40 acres, according to Barrett. Since the county still uses it, the county took no action and refused the offer.
• Former County Sanitarian Jim Laughlin was present to inquire and express concerns about issues dealing with the VBC Board of Health, including septic system inspections and policies on inspecting current systems. He alleges that “another false report” (in Vernon Township) has been filed in terms of a time of transfer inspection, in addition one he alleged near Mt. Sterling. He said he brought this before the supervisors and asked them, “When are we going to start to do something?”
•The chairman was authorized to approve a final payment request with Bloomfield Bridge & Culvert on the 120th St. box culvert project.
• The chairman was authorized to approve a final payment request with Gus Construction on the Spruce Avenue box culvert project.
•The chairman was authorized to approve to sign a payment marking contract with Vogel Traffic Services, Orange City.
•The results of the June 5 primary election was canvassed and declared official with the following declared the official county nominations:
Republican: Jon P. Finney, auditor; Robert Waugh, supervisor; and Dan Tedrow, sheriff. There were no Democratic nominees. A total of 617 voted in the Republican primary and 110 voted in the Democratic primary.
• Marvin Strait was re-appointed to the VBC Commission on Veterans Affairs for a three-year term ending June 30, 2015.
•The following request for rural tax abatement was approved: Bradley Kite, 21650 Willow Ave., Bonaparte (In NWSW Parcel C, Section 35-69-8, Harrisburg Twp.).