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Supervisors hear comments on gun-free courthouse

For some time, a small sign adorned the front of the Union County Courthouse to inform those entering not to bring any firearms or weapons. However, according to a Creston local, that sign is an infringement of Iowan’s rights.

Dillion Daughenbaugh, a local veteran and area firefighter, has been in Creston for over five years now and came to speak about the sign to the Board of Supervisors during their weekly meeting Monday morning at the Union County Courthouse

“I’m basically here for the sign on the front door out here: no weapons allowed on the property,” said Daughenbaugh. “There’s a spelling error there, for one.”

Aside from a misspelling on the word ‘property’, there was no listing or code citing why licensed citizens cannot carry on the premises.

“There’s no code, no law, what you would be violating should someone come in here armed,” said Daughenbaugh.

Daughenbaugh first noticed the sign when he went to register to vote earlier this year, and it immediately caught his attention.

“I don’t know how long it’s been up, I don’t know who’s responsible for it,” said Daughenbaugh. “I talked to the treasurer, I was directed to the sheriff and here I am now.”

Under Iowa law, the sign is required to have a statute or code as a reference to inform legal gun owners. Additionally, Daughenbaugh passed out a printout of the law clarifying the discrepancies, saying the law banning guns in courthouses statewide was in regards to courtrooms, not the courthouse as a whole.

“Since 1990, it has been illegal for a local government, county or township to make gun-free zones,” “The state can do that, but locally you can not.”

House File 517, a piece of legislation passed by former Governor Terry Branstad in 2017, was cited by Daughenbaugh, with him explaining the law would allow citizens to sue if their second amendment rights were violated.

“I’m not wanting to sue, I don’t care about that kind of stuff, I just hope this gets fixed,” said Daughenbaugh.

No action was taken in regards to the matter, but Union County Attorney Tim Kenyon said he would be keeping in correspondence with Daughenbaugh on the matter.

“According to Mr. Kenyon, there is going to be some sort of action by the governor with in a short period of time,” said board chair Rick Friday. “There will probably be a review over that legislation, and the security committee may act on that.”

Wind turbines

The Union County Board of Supervisors held further discussion on the addition of wind turbines in the county.

The board had received numerous letters and comments in regards to the possible addition of new wind turbines, with mixed reviews from the public. Some of these comments have been asking for a moratorium on new windmills in the county.

“Some liked it and some didn’t,” said Friday.

Friday said he has sent information out and is yet to get survey information in. The board discussed the Iowa Utilities Board’s recent proposal that would amend current regulation on renewable energy projects to streamline the process.

“There doing a lot of things on solar, too,” said Friday. “Solar is out there but I haven’t heard of any farms or anything coming.”

Fire panels

The board was provided with quotes for fire alarm panel replacements at two facilities for Care.

“There is a panel in each home in the central area, and there are different zones,” said Jana Daly of Care. “Whenever there’s a fire, it will tell you what area it’s in... it also triggers the fire department, and the staff can go right there and know where the fire is at any time.”

The panel in one facility has been malfunctioning, making a beep. The panels were replaced in 2007, and the parts are no longer able to be acquired.

“The question really is: do we go with one, that’s a lower cost, or go with two, that’s a higher cost, and get both of them replaced?” said Friday.

According to the lowest bid, the cost for the work on just the one house would be around $11,000, with the cost of both being $23,000. The board ultimately decided to accept the lowest bid.

Family Assistance

Jocelyn Blazek of the Department of Human Services went before the board to discuss extending or renewing the Family Assistance Contract, which is set to expire at the end for good at the year.

“This would be the last year,” said Jocelyn Blazek, DECAT coordinator. “DHS is not putting any money into it, but Juvenile Court is... They wanted to put dollars in there to continue that contract.”

The Juvenile Court is providing $10,000 to the county for the renewal for this last year, and the motion unanimously passed.

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