Louisa supervisors Brad Quigley also met with officials about developing a rural water system.

WAPELLO — The preliminary draft of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which will serve as a contract and guide for Rural Utility Service System (RUSS), of Mount Pleasant, when it assumes the Louisa County Zoning Administrator Officer’s duties later this year, was reviewed Tuesday by the Louisa County Board of Supervisors.

Supervisor Chris Ball, who serves as a Louisa County representative on the RUSS Board of Directors, said the proposed MOU was currently being examined by Louisa County Attorney Adam Parsons, but in the meantime, RUSS officials were moving forward with plans for implementing the agreement.

“I think (RUSS Executive Director) Bruce (Hudson) wants to be here at the next meeting,” Ball reported to supervisors Brad Quigley and Randy Griffin, suggesting the MOU could be approved at that time.

Ball also indicated RUSS had hired an individual who would be working on zoning, as well as environmental health programming, which is another contracted service that has been provided to Louisa County by RUSS for several months.

Under the proposed zoning MOU, services RUSS will provide will include: enforce Louisa County’s Zoning Ordinance; issue permits and investigate complaints; conduct inspections and investigations; collect, compile and interpret data relative to the ordinance; attend meetings and provide updates and information to the Louisa County Planning and Zoning Commission and board of adjustment.

RUSS will provide a vehicle for zoning administration and have a staff person available in the environmental health office of the Louisa County Public Health Service during the approximate hours of 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Thursday.

Louisa County will provide training, tools, supplies and other equipment; and pay $2,084 per month ($25,008 annually) to RUSS for its zoning administration activities.

Either party is allowed to terminate the agreement with a 60-day notice.

Current zoning administrator Paul Choi, who also works 20 hours a week as a part-time county attorney, is expected to have an additional 10 hours added to that position.

In other action, Quigley reported he had recently met with officials of the Rathbun Rural Water Association; Des Moines County Water; Muscatine Power and Water; and city officials in Wapello, Oakville and Morning Sun about renewing discussions on developing a rural water system in Louisa County.

“It’s just to get talking a little bit, (but) I think it went real well,” he said, reminding the other supervisors that the last effort to develop a rural water system in the county had happened in 2008.

“It’s in the early stages of just looking at different supplies and will continue to talk to them,” Quigley explained, adding discussions would also be held on possible funding options and other planning.

“It’s looking good,” he said.

Quigley said he would keep the supervisors updated on his future discussions.

The supervisors also reported receiving numerous calls from local residents concerned about the icy conditions on most of the county’s rural gravel roads. Assistant county engineer Adam Shutt later told the board he shared the concerns, but said the recent cold, rainy conditions were making a difficult task of cleaning roadways an almost impossible one.

Griffin, a former secondary roads employee, agreed.

“There is almost nothing you can do,” he said, pointing out it had probably been at least 20 years since a similar widespread icing event had happened in the county.

In final action, the board:

• Approved a letter of support for the Long Creek Watershed;

• Received the monthly department update from veterans affairs director Adam Caudle;

• Met with representatives of J&S Electronics and county staff for an IT update

• Formally adopted the county compensation board’s salary recommendations for FY 2020.