The Emmet County Board of Supervisors Tuesday canvassed results from the June 4 special election to fill a record vacancy and swore in Diann Quastad Minion as the new county recorder.
Minion, who ran as a Republican, replaces Sue Snyder, a Democrat, who resigned in April. Minion won out over Phyllis Martens who ran as a Democrat.
Minion will fill out the remainer of Snyder's unexpired term with the next election for the position in November 2014.
In other business Tuesday, county engineer Roger Patocka said 215th Street had been closed on the north side of Ingham Lake due to the condition of a culvert. Patocka said the road might be a good candidate for a Class C or gated road. He said the culvert handles the overflow from Ingham Lake, and he didn't feel the roadbed was safe to handle heavy loads.
The board approved a bid of $318,864.90 for gasohol and diesel for secondary roads from Houseman Oil Co. of Estherville. Also approved was a bid of $8,955 for liquid propane from K&H Coop Oil Co. of Estherville.
The board also discussed at length proposed repairs in Drainage District 44.
Board chair Alan Madden recounted that Bryan Hellyer of the DNR had been present at the last meeting two weeks ago regarding an NRCS wetland at the ditch headwaters which involved DNR and Army Corps of Engineers permitting. Madden said Hellyer had submitted the permitting papers and that Jim Hudson, attorney for Bud Schnell who had requested the repairs, was satisfied that the process was moving along.
The preliminary engineer's report, which the board had in hand Tuesday, pegged an estimated total construction cost of $12,375. Report conclusions and recommendations were that the district open ditch had silted to the point of causing loss of capacity and flooding adjacent lands and that the district must be maintained. The report also recommended notifying Schnell and encourage him to keep livestock out of the drainage ditch since the practice caused damage to sideslopes and could cause dirt to enter the ditch. The report also recommended proceeding with repairs and that a reclassification would not be needed.
Ike Peterson asked if part of the ditch could be abandoned since his earlier request had been denied, forcing him to put it into wetland.
Madden and supervisor Ron Smith both said if Peterson opted out of maintenance that it didn't mean he could also opt out of the drainage district.
Peterson said he would like a 400-foot stretch opted out, or where the natural drainage dumps into the ditch.
Schnell asked why flowage all of a sudden went around a culvert when it never did that before.
Peterson said natural drainage changed when the county cleaned out the ditch in 1982.
Schnell said he didn't know of the flow being changed between 1982-90.
Supervisor Jon Martyr agreed with Peterson, noting that it appeared the natural waterflow had changed. "It appears the water was changed to flow," Martyr said. "I think the silt is coming from your cattle overgrazing on the hills above," Martyr said to Schnell.
Schnell said if the silt was coming from his property he would be the first one to clean it out and riprap the bank.
Madden noted actions had been put into motion to clean up the ditch and that action was awaiting permitting. He said Peterson was talking about shortening the ditch 400 feet and that the question was whether the district should pursue abandoning the ditch so it didn't spend money needlessly.
"That's (the wetland) where the dirt came from," Schnell said.
Madden asked Schnell if part of the ditch were abandoned how it would change his drainage.
After further discussion, Madden said the board would have a permitting update from Hellyer at next week's meeting.
County mental health coordinator Dorothy Christensen updated the board on the regional mental health 28E agreement.
The board also approved a Dickinson County contract with Emmet County case management.
The board also adopted a proposed Northwest Iowa Regional Housing Trust Fund policy in which member counties could do a one-to-four buyout of member county funds. The policy would help free up current-year funds which are restricted when money from prior years remains unspent.