During last week's Cherokee County Board of Supervisors meeting, the Board held a public hearing and opened bids for lease of 36.41 acres of county-owned property in Spring Township, Section 20.
Doug Stowater, Ray Mullins, and Bar-D-Bar Farms all submitted bids. The highest bid for leasing the property was from Bar-D-Bar Farms at $151.50 per acre. Stowater and Mullins' both bid $135 per acre.
Shortly after the highest bid was announced, Daryl Ducommun of Bar-D-Bar Farms pointed out to the Board that the map that was prepared by the Cherokee County Farm Service Agency was not accurate. The area to be leased is located next to the Larrabee gravel pit near C-16 and over the years the county has mined away the tillable soil. It was Ducommun's opinion that only 31.49 acres were still tillable. Duccommun has farmed the ground in the past, paying cash rent to the County.
When realizing the discrepancy, the Board motioned to table all bids until a more accurate map and clarification of the tillable land on the acreages were resolved. The Board indicated it would contact the other two parties who submitted bids and inform them of the accurate number of acres.
The Board consulted with County Attorney Ryan Kolpin about the issue and reached the conclusion that the description of the acres that were publish was correct at 36.41. The fact that 31.49 are tillable was a moot point. It was also the Board's opinion that Ducommun's bid was only for the 31.49 acres and therefore incorrect and subsequently rejected his bid, leaving only Stowater's and Mullins' bids of $135 per acre.
Since the pair had matching bids, both parties agreed to have the decision settled by a flip of a coin. Kolpin had the honor of flipping the coin at Tuesday's meeting that fell in Stowater's favor.
The reason for the land leasing was due to the fact that the Board had noticed several pieces of land in the county were not being utilized. It was the Board's judgment that if the land was leased out that would generate revenue for the county.
In other business, Supervisors Mark Leeds and Terry Graybill will be attending a meeting today at the County's Secondary Road Department to discuss the holiday pay issue brought up recently by some of the wives of the Secondary Roads employees.
For holiday work, the Board indicated it would be paying the time and a half on top of the employee's regular holiday pay. However, the Board would like to see that the language within the contract be changed at the end of the current contract in three years to avoid future misinterpretation regarding holiday pay.
The Board also held a County Officer's meeting on Tuesday. Scott Weber of Central Insurance addressed the group and asked the County Department Heads to make a list of items within their departments that still need to be insured. He passed out a list of each department's equipment and vehicles to verify that it was current and up to date.
The Department Heads were also informed on the changes that will be made to the county's health insurance beginning on July 1.
Also on July 1, the county will be changing its payroll distribution day to Thursday.
The Department Heads were also informed that the Statewide Tornado Drill is be set for Wednesday, April 7 at 10 a.m. by the National Weather Service. The Board thought it would be a good idea to practice drills