Better friends than enemies, board says
The Buena Vista County Board of Supervisors, in front of a packed chamber for what was expected to be a third and final reading of a zoning change to allow agland to be used for a commercial business for a rural Storm Lake man, abruptly changed course this week.
Supervisors voted to deny the zoning change - hoping that neighbors will be able to work out the controversy themselves.
Steve Lullman had planned to put his commercial sprayer business on land in Washington Township, off Highway 71, where he will be residing.
The rezoning would change the land from A-1 to C-1 - agriculture to commercial. Petitions both pro and con his county officials immediately.
Property owner Steve Hoffman has been opposing the plan, saying it would limit the use of his land across from where Lullman wants to build.
Ted Brown representing Hoffman asked the board to consider what will happen with the approval of the rezoning.
"If this is suppose to be a corridor then why not starting the business closer to town," Brown said.
"I'm suggesting that if you are interested in having commercial property in the area that you should consider talking to the landowners as well," the attorney said.
Hugh Perry, representing Lullman, stated to the board that Lullman is turning land that was not prime agricultural land into an agricultural business.
"Mr. Lullman is utilizing the land that was the product of the building of Highway 71," Perry stated during the meeting.
Supervisor Herb Crampton made a motion that would deny the third and final reading and would wave the $100 fee that would be needed to go back to the Board of Adjustment if Lullman so chooses.
Supervisor Dick Vail agreed with the motion and feels that there is more action that can happen between both parties.
"I would like to see you both as neighbors and friends rather than neighbors and enemies - and I hope that both of you can reach some compromise," Vail said during the meeting.
It was stated during the meeting that the house that Lullman wants to build on the property was approved by the Board of Adjustment and that the supervisors could not change it.
Zoning Director Kim Johnson said that if the Board of Appeals denies Lullman, then it will be a year before he can request another rezoning consideration.
The board carried the motion, 5-0 to deny the third reading that the same board had already approved twice.
In other county supervisors news, County Intern Jake Anderson showed a power point presentation he designed for the county for new employee orientation.
The power point highlighted many key factors of the employee handbook such as vacation, pay periods and other information that county employees receive in the handbook.
"This is just an overview and when I showed this to the department heads they were happy with what they saw," Anderson told the board.
The power point does have options for different departments to include individual information as well.
The board was pleased with the results that Anderson produced and are looking forward to his future work.
Anderson also asked for feedback from the board to better the slide presentation and is looking to have the program finished by Wednesday.
Anderson will start to work on other projects such as a power point on employee benefits. The internship goes through December.
The Board of Supervisors received a letter about changing the category of the jailers to a "protected class" for the retirement program.
The county would have $7,000 more in costs over the year, while the jailers would have a rise of 60 percent in benefit payments. Doug Simons of the Sheriff's department asked the board to support the raised benefits.
Supervisor Jim Gustafson agreed to the idea of raising the rate but not as high as suggested.
"I agree that there should be a raise but I don't agree with the high rate," Gustafson said.
Chairman Bill Lanphere read the letter that was asking yes or no questions and filled out yes for all categories, but added that they did not like the rate that was suggested.
County Engineer Jon Ites updated the board that tiles destroyed in Albert City have been replaced as well as the shoulder that was taken out during the drainage work for the US BioEnergy plant.