Floyd County Board of Supervisors Meeting
August 6, 2012, 9:00 AM
The Floyd County Board of Supervisors met for workshop session in the Board Room of the Floyd County Courthouse with the following in attendance: Supv. Kamm, Chair, Supv. Kuhn, and Supv Dunkel.
Dunkel/Kuhn moved to approve the agenda with the addition of discussion of a fiscal agent for the watershed management authority. Motion carried 3-0.
Update on various boards/commissions/activities since the last meeting: Supvs Dunkel and Kamm attended a Communications and E911 meetings last week where an issue with $92,000 in new equipment was discussed and a possible alternative option to have Century Link put in a router to use for a monthly fee. Supv Kamm attended an Area Development meeting.
The Board reviewed an application from Steve Robel for a fireworks permit for a display on August 11. Bridget Edson reported that fireworks are not listed as permitted or not permitted in the burn ban language. Robel commented that he spoke with the adjacent farmer who has beans planted and they have discussed alternate locations depending on the wind direction. Tim Laube, J& M Displays representative, explained that he has more than the distance required between the display area and the ethanol plant. Dunkel/Kamm moved to approve Steve Robel’s application for a fireworks permit with the stipulation that the Floyd Fire Department be on board with the event and have services on site. Motion carried 2-1 with Supv Kuhn voting against.
Kuhn/Dunkel moved to set August 28 at 9:30 a.m. for a public hearing for an application from James & Nancy Sliger and Steve & Valarie Sliger to rezone property from Ag to I-1. Motion carried 3-0.
Dunkel/Kuhn moved to approve a 28E Intergovernmental Agreement Creating County Social Services which will now includes Webster County. Motion carried 3-0.
Kuhn/Dunkel moved to approve the tax credits funded for Homestead credit, Elderly/Disabled credit, Ag Land, Family Farm and Military Service Exemption the same as the state as noted in the June 25 meeting. Motion carried 3-0.
Edson informed the Board that she recently met with the Floyd County Fire Chiefs and reported that they haven’t had any problems since the burn ban has been in place for almost a month with the exception of a couple of firefighters on calls who needed to be treated for health issues. Edson updated the Board on some Emergency Management state-wide conference calls regarding the Governor’s disaster proclamation on agriculture drought issues. Floyd County is in a D2 “severe” drought designation status, rather than a D3 “extreme” drought status, since our county is not in an extreme drought situation but we are a contiguous county of D3 status counties. Edson inquired with all of the cities about water usage/concerns and found only the city of Floyd is pumping above normal. There have been a couple of well permits issued but do not believe they are due to dry wells. Dry hydrants in the county are dry. The state fire marshal has not ordered a statewide burn ban.
Edson commented that she checked on the Americans with Disabilities Act regarding using the Winnebago Scout Camp as a storm shelter area but found it to be noncompliant.
Supv Kuhn updated the Board on the process of the county becoming one of two counties to be designated as a small wind innovation zone, Butler Co REC granting a net metering program for the pilot project at the Fossil Park and Prairie Center, and the status of the renewable energy projects for the Center. An Iowa Energy Center technology grant totaling $19,620 for has been awarded to the Foundation and includes the installation of a kiosk for real-time monitoring of the output of the “green” energy from the new turbine and solar panels, as well as the existing geo thermal system, a display area in the west side of the center, and a “trunk” with projects that the Naturalist will be able to use to educate students on “green” energy. Doug Schroeder, Conservation Director, spoke with NIACC representatives who are interested in training students. The Iowa Energy Center grant does not go toward the infrastructure but rather only the kiosk and educational components of the project. For the infrastructure portion of the projects, Kuhn reported that the Committee who requested bids for projects has reviewed bids over three meetings, narrowed them down, and visited two vendors. The thermal solar hot water panels portion of the project was dropped due to the almost nil need for hot water at the site. The Committee recommended a $67,895 bid from Kitchen Construction for a Bergey wind turbine with a 120’ self supporting lattice tower and a $35,812.50 bid from SunnWinnd for solar panels. The Foundation has agreed to put $25,000 toward the infrastructure projects. The county has $5,000 designated from the FY12 budget. Kuhn recommends amending the budget and the county make up the $73,707.50 difference from the General Basic Fund. Supv Dunkel would like to have a flow sheet of the processes to completion of the project, i.e. funding, building permit requirements, a power source agreement with Butler Co REC, awarding contracts, a budget amendment, etc. Discussion also included that the Center will provide an economic development opportunity with persons interested in putting in such a system on their own properties and a future building project which would eliminate the Conservation Dept using the Trowbridge building west of Charles City.
The Board still has $395 to raise to complete the cost of the project to put FLOYD back on the courthouse.
The Board noted a $1/hour wage increase for Barbara Burton, Public Health/Home Health Care RN, and a $0.50/hour wage increase for Brenda Davis-Hinz, PH/HHC Aide, both following a completion of a six month probationary period.
Supv Kuhn informed the Board about an organizational meeting for the Upper Cedar Watershed Management Authority tomorrow night. That Board will elect Board of Directors and consider a applying for a grant for $187,500 to survey the upper Cedar River. Supv Kuhn would like the Board to consider serving as fiscal agent for the authority for the grant. Discussion included whether or not there should be a fee to be the fiscal agent, if a fund needs to be set up for the authority, and members of the authority.
Future agenda items: 1) review/action on funding for renewable energy projects for the Fossil Park and Prairie Center, 2) Doug Stimetz, State Historical Preservation, plans to attend the August 13 meeting to discuss courthouse projects and funding, and 3) consideration to increase the level of insurance coverage for county’s umbrella policy.
Dunkel/Kuhn moved to recess until 7 p.m. Motion carried 3-0.
Dunkel/Kuhn motioned to adjourn the meeting. Motion carried 3-0.
Kuhn/Dunkel moved to reconvene the meeting at the Fossil Park and Prairie Center at 7:00 p.m. Motion carried 3-0.
Supv Kuhn provided attendees with project information and goals to install solar panels, a wind turbine and a kiosk for viewing energy usage at the Fossil Park and Prairie Center. Kuhn shared information regarding the changes to the zoning ordinance which allowed for small wind innovation zone designated areas and meetings with Butler County REC regarding establishing a net metering power production contract/agreement with the Center. The net metering contract will offer for every kilowatt of electricity generated from the wind turbine and solar panels the Center will receive a credit at a retail rate of electricity; every hour that is produced and put back on the REC grid they will get the retail cost that they paid for it and any additional energy produced beyond the net at the end of the year is balanced out and if there is an excess they will be paid $0.0465/kW. However, due to the sizing of the wind turbine and solar panels to match the use at the center, Kuhn does not believe there will be much of any excess. The committee assigned to prepare requests for proposals whereby seven vendors responded and low bidders were Kitchen Construction for a 10 kW Bergey turbine on a 120 ft tower and WinndSunn for a 10 kW photo voltaic solar panels and included more than $10,000 in donated materials for the project. In addition the Foundation applied for a grant to the Iowa Energy Center for funding to go toward a technological and demonstration project for educational purposes. Laura Elfers, Conservation Naturalist, presented information on a touch screen kiosk that will be used to display the solar array and turbine energy functions as well as the existing geothermal usage at the Center. The grant also covers an outreach component covering costs for two traveling trunks with “green” activities which includes solar car and wind turbine building projects that the Naturalist will be able to use to teach students hands on experience how the energy is made. Jim Kitchen, Kitchen Construction, presented information on the no breaking/no gear box system with curved blades, tower specifics, conversion to usable AC electricity, 20-40 year life expectancy. Gregg Bacon, WinndSunn, shared information on the technology of photo solar voltaic panels, over 40 year life expectancy, specifics for the Rockford project, and payback in energy. Committee members recognized for their work on the project thus far include Dennis Carney, Anne Schneckloth, Doug Schroeder, Bill Fluhrer, Gerald Schmitt, Dennis White and Kuhn. Kuhn recognized Lyle Wendland, Foundation president, and noted the Foundation’s commitment to fund $25,000 toward the project. Kuhn shared information on a 21-year expected payback in energy savings and how to pay for the upfront project cost (see notes from the morning meeting). Questions and comments from the public were addressed.
Supv Kamm presented information about the Boy Scouts of America mandate that all camps be self-sustaining and the Winnebago Council’s decision to maintain the Ingawanis camp near Waverly and close the Winnebago Scout Camp by Marble Rock. Kamm is part of a committee tasked by the Waterloo office to propose how to dispose of the Marble Rock site with other members including Larry Pump, Dennis Carney, Mike Schweizer, and Mark Buffington. Kamm pulled Larry Hicok in on the meetings to discuss the option of Floyd County owning the property as conservation property rather than a scout camp. Kamm commented that the Executive Council has decided that the Winnebago Scout Camp property will be sold to the highest bidder, listed with a realtor and the three top bidders get a chance to participate in an auction at some point. Dennis Carney, committee member, commented that members of the committee are disturbed about the closing of the site as well as about 700 concerned citizens he has received e-mails from with interest in preserving it; Carney commented that Floyd County Conservation Board cannot operate it as a scout camp but was hopeful that it possibly could be maintained as a public facility where scouts could camp. Carney shared information on how Horace Staudt’s estate contributed approximately $195,000 to the Scouts with the purpose of maintaining the camp and included a clause that if the Council decided to stop using the money as a camp that the principal amount shall be contributed to Floyd County Conservation for purposes of maintaining county camp grounds. Kamm mentioned there is an appraised value of just under $900,000 and there is a list of potential buyers. Carney said abstract work is in process now. Questions and concerns discussed include the Ehlebracht trust money, the Iowa National Heritage Foundation which is generally used to set up upfront money for the preservation of national heritage, cycles of funding through other grants such as REAP or Habitat Stamp, funding opportunities that would be competitive with the Ingawanis camp, 501c(3) contributors or private citizens funding the purchase and ongoing costs to operate the grounds, potentially selling off some acres to fund the operational costs, the use of the 300 acres of timber, and other ways to sustain the property as a scout camp. Senator Bartz inquired about the National Heritage Foundation purchasing the parcel outright, giving perpetual/permanent easements as public property, and gifting it to the state as well as other funding resources such as wetland reserve programs, forest reserve enhancement programs, and natural conservatory programs. Schroeder commented that he has checked into other agencies but will continue to look into options. Schroeder said the Foundation has designated a line item reserved for donations to go toward the scout camp.
With the respect to the removal of the dam in Rockford, Schroeder explained that the costs will be covered with Fish and Wildlife fish passage grant for approximately $45,000 as well as funding budgeted by the Conservation Board and Board of Supervisors. Louise from the Fish and Wildlife Services was present to answer questions. Questions and concerns from the public addressed the removal of the dam causing the area to reestablish its historic channel as well as a natural regeneration of plant life, concerns of sand that has been dumped from flooding at the city park, concerns of toxic materials in the sludge going downstream to Greene and beyond, a suggestion for a flood prevention study to be considered, benefits to fish life by allowing more passage area, the success of the Charles City project with removing the low-head dam, DNR plans on doing some work above and below the dam such as rip rap, minimal bank restoration as the bank is stable, where the dam would be breached, and the county’s interest in donating the property to the city after the project is completed.
Dunkel/Kuhn motioned to adjourn. Motion carried 3-0.
ATTEST: _________________________________ ____________________________________
Gloria A. Carr Douglas A. Kamm, Chair
Floyd County Auditor Floyd County Board of Supervisors