By Ken Ross
The Cherokee County Board of Supervisors approved the first reading of an ordinance that addresses public nuisances, updating a previous ordinance.
The ordinance is based on a model that is adopted by counties across the state. John Wibe, assistant county attorney, modified the model ordinance and was present at the Tuesday supervisors meeting to explain changes.
The supervisors had previously expressed concern that the part of the proposed ordinance dealing with weeds was redundant with a separate ordinance that establishes the authority of the weed commissioner.
Wibe said that he left in the portion of the proposed public ordinance that deals with weeds but added wording stating that the ordinance would not affect the powers and duties of the weed commissioner.
In that way, if the position of weed commissioner were to be changed or eliminated or the county chose another avenue to deal with weeds, the county would retain that authority.
Wibe also added a phrase dealing with trees that create a hazard to county roads.
Wibe noted that the model ordinance was worded so as to be appropriate to a more urban county. He made adjustments in wording so as to reflect the rural nature of Cherokee County.
Wibe said that the ordinance can be adjusted in the future if needed.
The proposed ordinance was passed on first reading. In order to be put into effect, it will need to be passed on two more readings at consecutive meetings.
Aimee Barritt, environmental health/emergency management director for Cherokee County, informed the board that she would be ordering seven automatic defibrillators this week, paid for through federal grant money.
One will be installed on a wall in the courthouse. The other six will be in sheriff's department vehicles. The automated system gives instructions to the user and measures vital signs but some training in the use of the equipment is still needed.
Barritt said the equipment should arrive by the end of May. She requested that the supervisors authorize that county employees to receive training during work hours. The supervisors authorized the training.
Barritt also noted that an agricultural disaster simulation held in Cherokee earlier this month is turning out to be a model for the rest of the country.
The joint effort between five Northwest Iowa counties, involved a simulation of containing a disease as close as possible to its original source in hopes of preventing a disaster that could affect the economy of the state or possibly even the country.
Barritt said her office is getting calls from various parts of the country regarding the rather elaborate simulation in Cherokee. She said she will have more to report on the matter at a future supervisors meeting.
Rick Angell, Ben Van Englenhover and Don Faber were present to discuss health insurance coverage through Blue Cross and a partial county self-insurance fund to reduce individual deductibles, out of pocket maximums and co-pays.
The county is considering a change in health insurance coverage as of July 1, the end of the fiscal year for the county.
The county pays for single coverage. Employees choosing family coverage pay 40 percent of the difference between single coverage and family coverage.