May 8, 2018
The Benton County Board of Supervisors met in regular adjourned session with Supervisors Primmer, Wiley and Bierschenk were present. The meeting was called to order at 9:00 a.m. Unless otherwise noted, all actions were approved unanimously.
Bierschenk moved/Wiley seconded: To approve the minutes of May 1, 2018. Motion carried.
Wiley moved/Bierschenk seconded: Approve payment of checks numbered 227067 through 227216, payroll checks numbered 140034 through 140048, and ACH deposits numbered 34231 through 34370 vendor checks numbered 227059 through 227066. Motion carried.
Wiley moved/Bierschenk seconded: To approve and authorize the chair to sign the Certification of Cost Allocation Plan for FY17 prepared by Cost Advisory Services, Inc. Motion carried.
Sheriff Tippett discussed current law enforcement contracts with the City of Walford and Shellsburg. Walford gave notice that they will be going with Linn county starting in July. He asked to extend the City of Shellsburg’s contract for an additional 6 months. Shellsburg is ranked 3rd in population for the county and 8th in how much time is spent there. Every deputy commits 3 hours of their 8 hour shifts for contracted law enforcement. City of Atkins has the most calls, while the most time is spent in Keystone. Tippett said the eastern side of the county has more calls that could be impacted by their closeness to Cedar Rapids. The board asked that Tippet analyze costs and come back in for further discussion and action.
The time of 9:30 a.m. having arrived, the chairman opened the public hearing on the proposed resolution to buy and exchange county property. The following persons were present: Jim Morrison representing the news media, Benton County Attorney David Thompson, Mike Elwick, Toni Parizek, Veterans Affairs Director, Mary Lee Summy, Mike Silhanek, Dale Henry and Bill Newton.
The County Attorney shared the proposed resolution with those present. Thompson stated historically this county has been looking for a solution for more office space needs for quite some time. The courthouse is not big enough for everything that Benton County has to do to govern the county. Referring to the old Theisens building as a previous purchase years ago that didn’t work out, the board has done their due diligence and this was the proposed deal and is out of the flood plain. The old building that used to house DHS (Department of Human Services) offices was also looked into. The prices were too high to remodel or build to what was needed. There will be room for a conference room and also an office space for Benton County Historical Society. Along with this building purchase comes 3.2 acres of land. There is possibility for expansion in the future as well as mentioning to possibly move the transportation offices and vehicles out of the flood plain.
Toni Parizek, Benton County Veterans Affairs director was concerned of the new location. She agreed to the positive of being out of the flood plain but felt with it not being in close proximity to the courthouse that some wouldn’t take the extra time to travel. Supervisor Primmer pointed out that there would need to be signage put out for notification, and other ways to get the word out cheaper like social media for example. Supervisors Bierschenk brought up the Linn County’s government and all the different locations for an example. County Attorney pointed out that the walls are paper thin at the current office location. Primmer handed out a rough draft of an office layout plan and explained this was all just that, a rough plan. Mary Summy asked the board if all these needs would be met after the move including handicap accessibility and signage. DOT approval will be needed for signage placement. The security committee would look at doorways, but it was agreed this will be more accessible than the current Governor Sherman Building. Primmer also noting about the parking expansion in the new area will be an added bonus. Mike Elwick observed how along 1st Ave, there was limited handicap spots and felt the new location would be a definite positive. Supervisor Wiley agreeing about the parking options and less traffic in the new location but also pointing out how Parizek’s position was recently made full time and he felt this was a good opportunity relative to this change. Wiley also reminding everyone that the county is currently paying rent to lease office space from Elwick and over the next 3 years, that amount spent on lease will make this purchase even more attractive. Supervisor Bierschenk would like to see a spike in the amount of Veterans served in Benton County because of this move and feels this is a very positive thing for the county and that everyone will need to work through the challenges that come with change. Dale Henry, local veteran and adjoining neighbor to the new location, doesn’t feel this will cause a decline, he feels enough local vets like himself can share the information at meetings and get the word out. Elwick welcomed anyone who wanted to go look through the building, he’d be more than happy to show them around. Moving forward things will get worked out as far as doorways and other renovations needed and keeping the welfare of the public in mind as well as all of the employees. Hearing no further public comments, the supervisors agreed to meet with Parizek at a later time but they needed to move on.
Wiley moved/Bierschenk seconded: To close the public hearing and adopt Resolution #18-23, Buy and Exchange County Property. Motion carried.
RESOLUTION TO BUY AND EXCHANGE COUNTY PROPERTY
PURSUANT TO IOWA CODE SECTION 331.361
WHEREAS Section 331.361, Iowa Code, allows the County to buy and exchange real estate for the benefit of the public good ; and
WHEREAS, the Supervisors believe it would benefit the governance of Benton County to establish a central administrative office complex to address the County’s lack of office space for offices that cannot be located in the Courthouse; and
WHEREAS, the Supervisors also believe a central administrative office complex should be located out of the flood zone; and
WHEREAS the County has for a considerable time rented office space for the Iowa Department of Human Services at 811 D Avenue, Vinton, IA and the owners of that building, Michael and Cindy Elwick, have indicated that they are willing to sell said building and its 3.2 acres of land to the County; and
WHEREAS a consolidation of County offices into 811 D Avenue would allow Benton County to stop using the Governor Sherman Building for office space and would allow the County to return the Governor Sherman Building to private ownership which would place it on the tax rolls; and
WHEREAS the additional land located at 811 D Avenue would allow the County, over time, to move additional facilities out of the flood zone, and
WHEREAS, a proper notice of the date, time and place of hearing on this issue has been published and a hearing has been held and following said hearing, the Supervisors have determined that, in fact, it would benefit the public to purchase 811 D Avenue.
NOW THEREFORE, be it resolved that the County is purchasing from Michael and Cindy Elwick the property located at 811 D Avenue, Vinton, Iowa and described as to-wit:
The North Twenty-five (25) feet of lots One (1) and Two (2), Block Two (2), Donelan’s Addition to Vinton, Iowa;
All of Block Fifteen (15), and the East One-half (E1/2) and the Southwest Quarter (SW1/4) of Block Fourteen (14) in the Sub-Division of Aaron Webb’s Estate in the Northeast Quarter (NE1/4) of the Northeast Quarter (NE1/4) of Section Twenty (20), Township Eighty-five (85) North, Range Ten (10), West of the 5th P.M.;
That part of Ninth Street lying between the West line of the intersection of Ninth Street with D Avenue, thence West to the East line of the intersection of Ninth Street with E Avenue, all in Vinton, Iowa.
IT IS FURTHER RESOLVED that the County shall pay a purchase price of $357,500.00 Michael and Cindy Elwick and shall further transfer title to the Governor Sherman building, 303 1st Avenue, Vinton, Iowa to Michael and Cindy Elwick in partial trade and that this transaction is conditioned upon certain zoning changes being made to the Elwick property;
IT IS FURTHER RESOLVED that the Chairperson of the Supervisors shall execute, deliver and receive all deeds and documents necessary to complete this transaction.
Adopted this 8th day of May, 2018.
Rick Primmer, Chairman
Hayley Rippel, Benton County Auditor
Wiley moved/Bierschenk seconded: To recess at 10:27 a.m. Motion carried.
Board reconvened at 1:00 p.m. at the Sheriff’s office conference room for a flood plain meeting with the Iowa DNR and FEMA reps. City and county officials were in attendance to learn about the process of implementing these proposed new flood maps and also about community based programs available. These new FIRM (flood insurance rate maps) won’t take effect until the fall of 2019.
Bierschenk moved/Wiley seconded: To adjourn. Motion carried.
Rick Primmer, Chairman
Hayley Rippel, Benton County Auditor