Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Local News

October 23, 2012

Supes tackle various issues

Marion County — The Marion County Board of Supervisors met on Monday morning during their regular meeting to discuss a variety of topics.

The board approved a site plan request for Barker Implement for a proposed storage building that will be located on Lots 4-6 of the Reimer Subdivision. The building will be approximately 9,000 sq. feet.

The board also received a fund request in the amount of $25,000 over five years from Fields For Our Future, regarding Vision Iowa Grant application for the Pella Sports Park Project.

Representatives from FFOR were present at the meeting.

"This park will give a place for youth to play," Craig Wassenaar, one of the board members of Fields for Our Future, said. "We want this to be a destination, not just a place to play ball and go home."

Bill DeMeulenaere, on behalf of FFOF, spoke to the board about the economic impact this could bring to the area - approximately $1 million with 9 tournaments being held at the facility each year.

The park will be located on the east side of town past Pella Christian High School, on the north of Oskaloosa Street. The initial entrance will be off of Oskaloosa street, although in the long run there will be access from the North side off of University once (and if) it is extended further east to 250th Ave. The Fields For Our Future committee reviewed 12-20 different locations over the last 7 years, and looked at many factors including the size of acreage available (60-120 desired), the contouring of the land, the convenience of the location, the fit with the City’s long term Comprehensive Plan, the total cost of the land and infrastructure, the impact on traffic, and many other factors.

During Phase 1 of the project will include 6 youth baseball/softball fields, 1 Babe Ruth field, and 5 multipurpose fields that can be used for soccer or football, among other things. It also would include a main concession stand, batting cages, a playground area, a few picnic areas, and centralized parking. It also allows for longer term growth as there will be room for additional ball fields, multipurpose fields, or other amenities in future fundraising or city-financed projects.

Both Wassenaar and DeMeulenaere stressed to the board that this area will be utilized by, not only Pella teams, but for surrounding communities to use as well.

"We want something Marion County can be proud of," Wassenaar said. "We have $6.7 million already contributed, but monies are still needed."

Wassenaar also commented that final specifications prior to bids being taken for the project are 3-45 days out and that the FFOF Board hopes construction will begin in Spring 2013 with 'play ball' happening either in Spring 2014 or 2015.

"I applaud the concept and forward thinking on this," Supervisor Sam Nichols said. "A really appreciate your efforts."

The board did not take formal action on the item at the meeting, but plans to looking into the request and report back at a future meeting.

The board then approved the setting of a public hearing for review of the $3,545,500 Iowa Economic Development Authority Water & Sewer Fund application for constructing a wastewater collection and treatment system for the Attica-Pershing area for Nov. 13 at 1 p.m.

Marion County Environmental Health Director, Cory Frank told the board that the project was similar to the one done recently in Tracy and the county will serve as a funnel for the money, if approved, until completion of the project.

"It's the same request as last time, with no changes to my knowledge," Frank said.

The application process will take up to a year and it being approved is not a 'done deal'.

In other business

-Board approved the signing (by Sam Nichols) of a obstruction permit application for a confinement feeding operation in Section 25, Lake Prairie (south) Township, pending the Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources scoring on the site, which has not been completed. Frank commented that he saw no issues with the application. Brandyn Van Zante, Inc. was listed as the issuer of the application.

-Received and approved the filing of the Marion County Treasurer’s Semi-Annual report dated June 30, 2012 and Marion County Sheriff transaction report dated September 30, 2012.

-Discussion continued on the current status and options of the Bussey Memorial Building. The board informed the audience the issue right now is the stabilization of the floor inside the building. Agan commented that more discussion with the people of Bussey and other area representatives needed to be done before moving on. Kingery questioned about a waiver being approved to allow the items inside the building to be removed and then sold. Marion County Attorney Ed Bull said he that idea would be problematic. No formal actions as taken on the issue.

-Board approved agreement for mental health services between Marion County Board of Supervisors and Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services, between Marion County Board of Supervisors and St. Lukes Hospital and between Marion County Board of Supervisors and Mary Greeley Hospital as presented.

-Approved a Business Associate Agreement with the Knoxville Hospital and Clinic for medical services rendered on prisoners of the Marion County Law Enforcement Center.

-Appointed Dean Hicks and James L Jones to the Compensation Board terms ending June 30, 2015.

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