At last week's regularly scheduled meeting, the Cherokee County Board of Supervisors heard a report from Cherokee Area Economic Development Director Mark Buschkamp regarding a Regional Housing Trust Fund, and asked for the County's support through a resolution authorizing Cherokee County to join the partnership, along with Plymouth, Ida, and Monona counties.
The Supervisor's adopted Resolution #2012-0 reads:
"A Resolution to Recognize the West Central Iowa Regional Housing Trust Fund, Inc." WHEREAS, The County of Cherokee desires to partnership with the West Central Iowa Regional Housing Trust Fund, Inc. to assist in addressing the unmet housing needs in the communities of Cherokee, Ida, Monona, and Plymouth Counties.
That Trust Fund is a four-county organization with its primary focus on housing rehabilitation that could also evolve into new housing projects for low and moderate income.
Also last week, the Cherokee City Council approved the same resolution at the request of Buschkamp, with the understanding the participating counties paying the local share for their municipalities.
Once functioning, the Trust Fund receives monies from the State Lottery proceeds. The existing Northwest Regional Housing Trust Fund that services Buena Vista, Emmet, Lyon, O'Brien, Osceola, and Sioux counties receives approximately $200,000 annually from the Iowa Lottery proceeds to support their housing rehabilitation program.
Dave Shanahan, County Engineer, also appeared before the Board, presenting a utility permit, along with a request to hire an additional full-time engineering staff position.
The Supervisors approved an underground utility permit for Peoples Telephone Company in Section 21 of Afton Township.
Shanahan listed the reasons why an additional engineering staff position was needed, including situations when the office is short staffed due to meetings. No official action was taken by the Board concerning the request for an additional employee.
Nancy Nelson, Deputy Assessor, presented information about a tax exemption for impoundment structures that is applied to dams and land lying under the water levels. Applications are approved by the Cherokee County Soil and Water Conservation District and then filed with the County Assessor, with final approval considered by the County Board of Supervisors.
The Board then approved an application received from Laurence Boothby, Section 19 of Rock Township, for an Impoundment Structure Property Tax Exemption per Chapter 161A, Code of Iowa.
Supervisor Mark Leeds also gave an informational update regarding the Cherokee County Solid Waste Commission's review of current contract rates and contributions from all nine Cherokee County members (all eight cities and the County).