Mike and Cindy Elwick have announced that 2018 will be the final growing season for Old School Produce. The couple has agreed to sell the north half of the former West Early Childhood building to Benton County, and the land on which the garden grows.

Benton County will take possession July 1 (but allow the Elwicks to sell their produce throughout the season).

Cindy Elwick said the couple has not yet decided on their future gardening plans.

The County plans to use the renovated classrooms for space for other offices not currently housed in the courthouse. The Benton County DHS has been in part of the West building for some time now. As part of the real estate transaction, the Elwicks will assume ownership of the Sherman Building, where some of the county offices have been housed.

The Elwicks signed the contracts with the county during Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting. The county paid $357,000 for the north half of the building and the 3.2 acres, in addition to transferring to the Elwicks the title to the Sherman Building at 303 1st Ave. The Resolution approved by the supervisors indicates that the goal is to move county offices not currently housed in the courthouse away from the flood zone.

Mike invited people on the Old Produce Facebook page to come visit the garden in its last year.

See the details of the deal between the county and the Elwicks contained in the resolution which the Board of Supervisors approved last week:




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


Todd Wiley


Gary Bierschenk



Hayley Rippel, Benton County Auditor