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February 21, 2020

12/24/2019 9:35:00 AM
Many protest end of personal conviction for vaccination but it receives the go-ahead from Iowa County Board
J. Patrick Reilly

The Iowa County Board heard from southwest Wisconsin at their regular meeting Tuesday when a roomful of people attended to oppose a resolution that would end the use of personal conviction when it comes to vaccinating children.
Most of the speakers were not from Iowa County but were unified in the belief that vaccination is a personal right and parents should control what is put into their children. Some cited problems their children have from vaccinations. There was even a group of four children who approached the microphone and asked that the resolution be opposed as it will impact them in the long run.
One speaker said there are 25 shots required for school and that is too many. A personal exemption can be used to spread out the shots and have their control. "What would you do if they required you to get 25 shots to serve on the county board?" the speaker asked.
A paramedic said he is bound to honor a patient's wishes when it comes to using an IV or a medication. "I enjoy their freedom," he said and asked that the measure be voted against.
The public comment about the resolution took one hour.
The board received a motion and a second for supporting the resolution.
Sue Matye, who heads the Iowa County Health Department spoke about the recent measles outbreak that has caused several deaths worldwide.
She said there have been cases discovered in the US and most recently at the Denver airport.
"We do what we can to prevent a communicable disease," she said. "This takes hours and there is a cost associated with it." She said the department is charged with preventing all communicable diseases. "Immunizations do work," she said. "We don't have a growing problem with measles in Wisconsin because some diseases can be prevented with immunizations."
She added that only a few children in Wisconsin have their parents choose to forgo the immunization vaccinations.
During her explanation one of those who spoke earlier accused the health department representative of being a liar and was escorted out by a member of the Iowa County Sheriff's Department to shouts of "liar." She then asked the resolution be supported by the board.
A vote was taken and support for the resolution allowed it to pass 13-4.
In other matters, a remembrance was held for Ken Palzkill, a former county clerk, emergency management director and county board member who passed away recently.
A representative from SW Tech, Dennis Cooley, discussed the economic impact the school has on the region. He said that 54% of graduates stay in the district but he feels that should be higher, somewhere in the 60% range.
Nursing, automotive and physical therapy have the highest wages paid upon receiving an associate degree.
He gave the board members a "lunch and tour card" to present to anyone interested in coming to the school and exploring the options of attending.
He said the school is actively improving outreach programs and facilities at the center in Dodgeville are scheduled to be addressed very soon.
The board received an update on how the Iowa County structure grant has been used by the city of Dodgeville for needs in developing a business park. It was noted that there are three real leads for development since the grant has been used to update what the city has to offer and one is described as "hot."
Economic Development manager Steve Genoway presented the report on behalf of the city. He said the web page has generated traffic which makes following up on contacts easier. "It is much easier when they come to you," he said.
The area he discussed as the business park is the area just north of Wal-Mart.
Supervisor Bruce Paull reported that all the residents at Bloomfield Manor as of this week are from Iowa County.
Supervisor Justin O'Brien discussed the recent fundraising efforts by the SUN program.
Supervisor Curt Peterson updated the board on the recent meetings of the Jail Building Committee and said progress is being made as the project is being readied for bid.
Zoning requests were approved for Henry A. Fasking in the town of Arena, Dan and Sandra Beckman, Peterson Living Trust in the town of Moscow and Ed Reichling in the town of Waldwick.
The board approved the appointments of Marilyn Rolfsmeyer and Nancy Clements to the ARDC board, Carol Anderson to the SWWRPC and Al Bauman to the board of adjustment.
The board approved the ATV/UTV route ordinance as presented. Several neighboring counties have already approved routes to allow ATV/UTV travel. Highway Commissioner Craig Hardy said the plan is to provide connection routes.
O'Brien discussed his concerns with safety and asked if there have been any studies done on economic impact as that is one of the selling points brought by the ATV/UTV users. He was told there are some studies but they are probably outdated.
The board heard a report on the Iowa County Handbook from County Administrator Larry Bierke. He gave the changes that will affect wages and incentives along with changes that could be beneficial to the employees. The handbook was approved with grammatical help from O'Brien. The policy came from the General Government committee.
The board authorized taking $65,000 from the general fund balance for corporation counsel. The corporation counsel will be increased from quarter time to half time and the search to fill the position is continuing.
Approved was a resolution that provides a funding wash for the Health Department.
The board approved a resolution that would oppose proposed rule changes regarding Medicaid Fiscal Accountability as the present set-up would be detrimental to merging nursing home facilities.
The audit services contract with Johnson Block and Company was renewed by the board. The contract is for 2019-2023.
In further matters Bierke told the board that ComElec is asking to partner with the county for a broadband grant which would serve the villages of Cobb, Linden and Rewey. If the project is approved it would cost the county $22,926 in 2021. The cost would be 12.5% of the project. The board approved the proposal 14-3.
The board approved a resolution establishing future items of challenge for the county administrator.
In a final matter the board authorized the county clerk to publish a class 1 notice about dog license and rabies vaccination requirements.

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