At their weekly meeting Tuesday, the Cherokee County Board of Supervisors discussed several items.
The meeting began with a Public Hearing on Wind Energy Ordinance #2014-01, which addresses standards, conditions, application, review and approval for the construction and maintenance of wind energy devices within Cherokee County.
There being no objections to the ordinance as presented, the Supervisors waived a second and third hearing. The Supervisors then adopted the ordinance by unanimous voice vote.
Buena Vista County Engineer Jon Ites and Cherokee County Assistant Engineer Brandon Billings were present at Tuesday’s meeting, and they reported on a meeting they had attended on October 3rd. The meeting was with the company developing what is currently termed the Dakota Access Pipeline Project (They haven’t been granted a franchise for this project yet, so the project will be nameless until they are franchised). The proposed pipeline will cross parts of 18 Iowa counties, including a total of 40 miles in Cherokee and Buena Vista Counties. Fourteen of the 18 counties had representation at last Friday’s meeting, according to Ites.
The preliminary route through Cherokee County shows the pipeline crossing into Cherokee County south of the Northern Natural Gas Company compressor station in Section 4, Liberty Township. The pipeline is shown crossing Highway 59 south of Larabee and exiting Cherokee County about six miles east of Cherokee and one mile north of Highway 3. Approximately 20 miles of the high pressure pipeline will be buried in Cherokee County.
ETP also shows their notification corridor will be approximately 3/4 mile wide, with the exceptions of the Mill Creek River crossing near Oakdale and the Little Sioux River crossing southeast of Larabee, where the right-of-way is expanded due to these being sensitive areas.
Ites said the company plans to have several crews working on the project, and each crew will be laying 6,000 feet of pipe each day. He stated that the county engineers are responsible for inspecting areas which will be affected by the pipeline prior to the project starting, but he stated that the counties do not have enough staff to handle this immense task, so they will likely be hiring a consultant to do these inspections,the cost of which the company doing the pipeline will assume.
Ites said he doesn’t know at this time if all 18 counties will go together to contract with a single consultant or whether Cherokee and Buena Vista would be involved with a smaller number of counties in contracting for these consulting services.
The Supervisors also reviewed a proposal from Schoon Construction of Cherokee on a project to improve the drainage system at the courthouse, and they approved hiring Schoon to do everything on their proposal, with the exception of removing concrete, shrubs, and benches at the south entrance, deciding that these projects will have to be done at a later date. Total estimated cost of the remainder of the project is $6,855.
In other business, Joe Draper and Dutch Robbins of the Veteran Affairs Commission were present to report on their investigation of an incident which took place at the Cherokee County Fair this summer, and they stated that they have hired a part-time Assistant VA worker and they feel that this should help prevent any future incidents.
Community Services Director Lisa Langlitz presented her Cost Report for Cherokee County Case Management for FY14 and projected costs for FY15, and these were approved by the Supervisors.
Barb Staver of the Sheriff’s Department presented her department’s Quarterly Revenue Report for July – September, which showed the department collecting $18,794.24 during the quarter and paid same amount to the county treasurer’s office. The report was approved by the Supervisors.
In other business, Assistant Engineer Billings submitted four requests for Utility Permits. Two were from People’s Telephone of Aurelia, one for Section 6 in Diamond Township and the other,also in Diamond Township, between Sections 4 and 9; Mid American Energy requested a utility permit for a project in Section 22 in Cherokee Township; and West Iowa Telephone requested a utility permit for a project between sections 1 and 2 in Amherst Township. The Supervisors approved all four of the permits.
Billings also presented a request from the Powder Players Snowmobile Cub to mark and maintain a trail system on County Road L-26, from Highway 3 to 160th Street and on 160th Street from L-26 to Iowa 143. The club does carry insurance on the property. They performed these marking and maintaining services last year, and by all accounts did a wonderful job. A one-year permit for the club to perform these services was approved by the Supervisors, and will be reviewed next year.