Union County Board of Supervisors approved a new county seal during its regular meeting Monday at the Union County Courthouse.
Last week Union County Auditor Sandy Hysell explained that due to new regulations from the state, the county seal would need to be digitized and printed on the ballots for any upcoming elections. The board agreed this would be a good time to update the seal. With input from other departments and Union County Attorney Tim Kenyon, Hysell designed the seal using the logo from the county website.
Union County Weed Commissioner Jake Blazek presented the proposed noxious weed destruction deadlines for 2019 to the board. Blazek also spoke of increasing the penalty for residents who do not meet the deadlines from $10 to $20 per day. After discussion of the types of weeds present in Union County and the encroachment of Palmer Amaranth, a fast-growing, difficult-to-control pigweed, into Iowa, the board approved the increased penalty and deadlines.
Union County Engineer Zach Gunsolley updated the board on the progress of the FEMA flood projects and grant applications.
Gunsolley said work is continuing on the FEMA sites as well as other general maintenance activities on the secondary roads. He said FEMA has approved the county’s application for public assistance but emphasized that this is just one step towards receiving an actual payment from FEMA.
Gunsolley said he expects a payment to take several more months. The current damage total is $730,000. Union County would receive 85 cents per dollar of the total. The federal government would pay 75% and the state would add another 10%.
As of this week, Gunsolley said secondary roads has exceeded its gravel budget by approximately $26,000. This overrun was expected due to the flood issues.
Gunsolley also brought recommended parking restrictions on Commerce Road. He said that large vehicles, such as semi-tractor trailers, and a high number of smaller vehicles being parked on the road create a hazard to the traveling public. There are currently “no parking” signs on parts of the road, but he recommends they be extended to the entire length. The board decided to take some time to consider the recommendation.
The board approved a proposed budget amendment moving $555,903 from the unassigned fund balance to various budget items, including $494,000 to the roads and transportation budget for gravel hauling due to the problems caused by flooding. The anticipated FEMA funding would be used to build the unassigned fund back to its previous level when it is received.