Supes may revisit RAGBRAI beer permit

The county supervisors may revisit their June 4 decision not to allow beer sales along the RAGBRAI® route.

Steve Linn, representing Backpocket Brewing, discussed the denial of the permit for the company to sell beer July 23 along Highway 25 six miles south of Scranton. The supervisors cited safety and the reason for the denial.

Linn told the board Monday that Backpocket Brewing, in conjunction with the Iowa Craft Beer Association, has had beer tents along the RAGBRAI route for six years without any law enforcement issues. He said riders who stop at the beer tent must put their bikes in the road ditch, not on the shoulder, and that the Iowa State Patrol enforces a hard cut-off time for sales. Backpocket Brewing has permits approved or in the process in 14 other places, and Greene County is the only county that has denied the application.

He also told the supervisors that a temperature of 75-80 degrees is the “sweet spot for selling beer.” On a very hot day, which is likely to be the case, people drink less.

“I hate to reverse what we’ve already decided, but we appreciate you coming in,” board chair John Muir said. “Our biggest thing was the logistics of our law enforcement,” he added.

The license needs to be an agenda item if the board will reverse its decision. Muir said he’d talk with supervisor Dawn Rudolph, who was absent from Monday’s meeting, and then make a decision about placing it on the agenda. If Rudolph is not interested in considering granting the permit, it will not be placed on the agenda. Muir also told Linn he’d talk with him again before the end of this week.

The board also received a petition signed by seven landowners to create a new drainage district in all or portions of sections 11, 12, 13 and 14 of Scranton Township, and sections 7, 8, 17 and 18 of Jackson Township. The area now is all private drainage tiles. According to drainage clerk Michelle Fields, there is a problem there with 12-inch tiles. County engineer Wade Weiss said it’s been an ongoing problem.

Property owner Chop Gibson is leading the effort to create the drainage district, which would be known as DD 191.

The financial process of establishing a drainage district includes property owners putting up a bond or using equity in the land in lieu of a bond.

The board accepted the petition and will have an engineering study done on the creation of the new district.

In other business, the board approved a contract with BBS (formerly Brooks, Borg, Skiles) for design of an HVAC system for the courthouse. The contract is for an amount not to exceed $134,859; total cost of the project is estimated at $1.2 million.

The board also canvassed the results of the June 5 primary election.

The update on Greene County public health department activities that was on the agenda was postponed, as was the annual job performance reviews of courthouse custodians Mike Wyatt and Amy Chapman.

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