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July 6, 2020

6/23/2020 2:24:00 PM
County getting closer to full broadband service

Iowa County Administrator Larry Bierke has done a lot of good things for the county since assuming the position and now he is being asked to work his magic once more.
Bierke updated the board Tuesday at their monthly meeting on how the county may find $855,000 in matching funds for a Community Development Block Grant that would complete broadband expansion with the instalation of a fiber optic line in rural Iowa County.
Bierke took the board through a process where he will be making several grant applications that if approved will bring down the cost of the county's share. The CDBG grant deadline is June 26.
In getting to the final approval state, the board had to pass a resolution creating the prohibition of excessive force on non-violent civil rights demonstration policy, which is a requirement for the grant, a Wisconsin anti-displacement and relocation assistance plan, appoint a citizen participation committee of three members (Susan Storli, Shelly Miess and Jan Nankey), and authorize submission of a CDBG-CLOSE application which allows a draw down of eligible funds. Iowa County is eligible for $568,000 of unused funds.
The board then passed a resolution to provide matching funds for CDBG block grant broadband expansion and thanked Bierke for his work in what should save taxpayers money.
The board approved an amendment to a resolution setting the limit the jail building committee liaison can spend at $20,000 and the limit the committee can spend at $50,000 before seeking board approval. An amendment to set the limits at $50,000 and $150,000 was defeated.
A resolution to conduct an advisory referendum on creation of nonpartisan procedure for preparation of legislative and congressional redistricting plans and maps was approved with dissenting votes from supervisors Leix, Gollon, Meyers and Masters who felt the 72% rate of approval on a statewide survey was enough for the legislators. Others felt it was better to allow the people to vote on the matter.
Three people spoke under public comment in support of the resolution with one pointing out that present assembly representative Todd Novak and his opponent Kriss Marion both favor the redistricting.
A resolution to hold a referendum to increase the levy for county highway maintenence was set aside for further study by the highway committee and a motion was passed for it to resurface when the committee feels the time is right. Chairman John Meyers reminded the board to have it as a referendum at the April election it has to be introduced in January. The resolution was set aside because of financial uncertainty due to COVID-19.
Approved was a resolution authorizing Iowa County Treasurer Connie Johnson to issue tax deeds for unredeemed lands on property owned by Ron and Jane Johnson in the city of Mineral Point and Gerald Robson in the Village of Arena. The county holds tax certificates on the land for 2014.
A new sunset date for a resolution which provides up to 80 hours of paid sick leave to emergency responders and health care providers for three COVID-19 related reasons was approved as December 31, 2020.
A resolution setting the pay rate for the PM and the Night shifts the same at Bloomfield Manor with the hope to always be able to have a full crew for the night shift.
Reports from supervisors included mention that Blackhawk Lake is doing well and is filled often; there are Eagles nesting in the wind towers near Montfort so they have not been operating; the jail project is two weeks ahead of schedule and has had some very attractive bids and the courtroom is readying for a July 1 opening with trials to resume starting August 1.
In other business the board:
-amended the minutes from the April 21 and May 19 meetings to change the mileage and per diem reports.
-viewed a video introducing the Iowa County department heads.
-received a proclamation from Governor Tony Evers designating June 7-13 as Register of Deeds Week.
-approved 13 land use changes. They included:
-Town of Arena for Clyde Samples III for 3:49 acres from A-1, Ag to AR-1 Ag Residential
-Town of Brigham for Terry Ruchti and Andrew Burkart for 8.96 acres from A-1 Ag to AR-1 Ag Residential and 11.33 with AC-1, Agricultural Conservancy overlay
-Town of Brigham for Willoughby and Emily Watson for 8.07 acres from A-1, Ag to AR-1 Ag Residential
-Town of Brigham for Jason M. Gust and Lois Denure for 13.917 acres from A-1 Ag to AR-11 Ag Residential.
-Town of Highland for Jess G. Schmelzer for 3.5 acres from A-1 Ag to AR-1 Ag Residence
-Town of Highland for Caleb Welsh for 30.047 from A-1 Ag to AR-1 Ag Residential
-Town of Mineral Point for 36.396 acres from AC-1 Ag Conservancy and 3.064 A-1 Ag to AR-1 Ag Residential for Tanner and Bree Terrill and Theodore and Cynthia Terrill
-Town of Moscow for Richard J. Taylor Trust for 19.03 acres from A-1 Ag to AR-1 Ag Residential
-Town of Ridgeway for Chad Cushman and Donna Cushman for 22.136 acres from A-1 Ag to AR-1 Ag Residential
-Town of Ridgeway for Dan Toay and Phyllis Toay for 2.39 acres from A-1 Ag to AR-1 Ag Residential
-Town of Ridgeway for James and Toni Johnson for 5.16 acres from A-1 Ag to RB-1 Recreational Business for a wedding/events venue.
-Town of Waldwick for Cynthia Reynolds-Doyle and Juliet Reynolds for 1.95 acres from A-1 Ag to AR-1 Ag Residential and for 40 acres with AC-Ag Conservancy.
-Town of Wyoming for Scott and Jen Hasburgh and the Arthur T. Donaldson Revocable Trust for 3.47 acres and R-1 Single Family Residential to R-1 Single Family Residential.
-approved a recommendation from the office of planning and development to waive after the fact fees for Jennifer Thomas and Steven Sylvester and Linda Hilsenhoff.
-approved wording for a policy that allows employees to be eligible for telecommuting which has become a situation caused by COVID-19.
-approved without comment or question a resolution that will allow paving and reconstruction of County Highway F.

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