INDEPENDENCE – Buchanan County Supervisors Gary Gissel, Ellen Gaffney and Ralph Kremer, waived the second and third readings and adopted the new ATV ordinance Monday, following a well-attended 9:30 a.m. public hearing on the subject.
The purpose of the new ordinance designates secondary roadways in the county where all-terrain vehicles and off-road utility vehicles may operate. According to the new ordinance, registered ATVs or Off-road Utility vehicles may be operated on gravel roadways in Buchanan County, pursuant to the restrictions in the ordinance, as well as those restrictions imposed by the Iowa Code.
The main section of the ordinance states, “In the event that a person residing on a county blacktop wishes to operate an ATV or Off-Road Utility Vehicles on the gravel roadways, said person may operate on the shoulder of the county blacktop for a reasonable distance to reach the permissible county gravel roadway. Such operation may begin one hour after sunrise and must cease one hour before sunset. …”
Other sections of the ordinance include a listing of unlawful operations, registration requirements, exemptions and penalties.
The ordinance will go into effect 60 days after the official publication date. In the meantime, a copy of the ordinance can be viewed in the County Auditor’s Office, and an informational pamphlet will be drafted in the near future and placed in the Recorder’s Office when complete.
Approximately 20 individuals showed up for the hearing, primarily those who supported the passage of the ordinance. Discussion included reassurances in regard to safety concerns, as well as probable benefits of having such an ordinance in place (such as increased revenue from registration of ATVs and Off-road vehicles, and the fact that operators actually have a place to ride in the county, once the ordinance goes into effect.)
Supervisor Gissel said, that once the ordinance officially goes into effect, he feels those who pushed for passage of the new ordinance will do a great job policing operators and will take enforcement of the ordinance very seriously.
“But,” Gissel added, “if the ordinance doesn’t work, it can and will be repealed.”
Following the close of the hearing supervisors passed two related motions: first to waive second and third readings of the ordinance; and second to adopt the ordinance as presented. Again, the ordinance will not go into effect until 60 days after official publication.
At approximately 10:07 a.m. bids were opened regarding county-owned farmland rent on 242 acres for the next three years.
Three rental bids were received: Erwin Henderson in the amount of $200 per acre per year; Joe Junk Land and Cattle LLC for $250 per acre per year; and Paul Hunziker for $250 per acre per year. Bidders were given the opportunity to raise their offers. The high bid went to Erwin Henderson for $480 per acre (or $116,160 per year for the next three years.) The second highest bid was $475 per acre from Joe Junk, and the third place bid was from Paul Hunziker for $335 per acre.
In other action, sale of the Quasky Shop and several county-owned vehicles were discussed. Both the shop and vehicles will be put to bid with bid openings for vehicles set for Dec. 16 at 10:15 a.m.; and bid openings for the Quasky Shop set for Jan. 6, 2014 at 10 a.m.
In other action:
-Minutes from the previous meeting and claims amounting to $3,250.68 (primarily from a drainage bill and employee claims) were approved.
-Zoning Hearing for a request to rezone two acres owned by Jane Stephenson in Cono Township, from R-3 to R-2 was set for Dec. 16 at 10 a.m.
-Board and Commission appointments were discussed. Boards with upcoming vacancies in 2014 include:The Compensation Commission; Board of Health; Certified Local Government; Pioneer Cemetery Commission; and Zoning Commission. More information, regarding responsibilities and needs for each upcoming vacancy, are forthcoming.