Supes approve $30K to GCDC for land purchase

~by Janice Harbaugh for GreeneCountyNewsOnline

Kick-starting the development of new work-force level housing in Greene County was on the agenda for the board of supervisors at their regular meeting Monday, June 3.

There was spirited discussion among the supervisors concerning a request by Greene County Development Corporation for $30,000 of county money which would enable GCDC to purchase land east of St Joseph Parish Center.

GCDC would, in turn, give title to the land over to housing developer Andy Rowland of Rowland Construction, a small developer from Clive. Rowland has built work-force level housing in Bondurant and Waukee and he had made a presentation to the board at their meeting on May 13.

The board agreed new housing is needed to attract people to Greene County communities and to attract workers to new job possibilities projected to develop over the coming years.
Chair John Muir said the Rowland plan was “more in line” with wages than previous developers’ plans had been. Rent for Rowland-built units with two bedrooms is projected at $850 a month plus utilities.

Supervisor Peter Bardole said Rowland “was also interested in building in other communities in the county” and this would be important.

In counterpoint, supervisor Tom Contner questioned whether giving money to GCDC was actually “in the best interest of taxpayers,” since the money would then be used to buy land which would be given free of charge to the developer.

The board discussed a 10-year tax abatement also for the Rowland project. In the end, the board agreed it is time to move forward to start new housing in Jefferson and unanimously approved $30,000 in county funds to be given to GCDC to purchase land to be given to Rowland Construction.

In other business, county zoning officer Chuck Wenthold reported receiving notice from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources that it had received a construction permit application from Alex Alliger for expansion of his existing swine confinement feeding operation in Section 3 of Dawson Township. Wenthold reported review of the master matrix scoring is scheduled for the supervisors’ June 10 meeting at 9 am. The public hearing is scheduled for June 24 at 9 am.

County attorney Thomas Laehn presented a final copy of the county’s contract with Boone County Probation which had been approved at a previous meeting. Greene County will pay off-duty officers from Boone County to supervise the informal probations of 20 Greene County law-breakers sentenced by the court. This is a pilot project which will last one year. Chair Muir signed the agreement.

Engineer Wade Weiss reported on plans to purchase gravel from Stratford Gravel and pay for it in July 2020.

The board approved hiring Gary Schmidt as part-time secondary road employee effective June 3 at $18 an hour.

During the regular meeting, the board adjourned for 30 minutes in order to hold a drainage meeting for Drainage District 106 to consider a surface improvement request. The board generally agreed that surface drainage is “higher maintenance.” DD-14 was also discussed. A public hearing was set for July 22 at 9 am concerning DD-14.

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