The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Local News

July 10, 2012

Supervisors discuss role with railport

CLINTON — Board of Supervisors discussed an amendment on railport 28 E Agreement on Monday. The railport has been a topic at meetings for some time.

“The most commonly asked question is the status of this project,” Chairman Brian Schmidt said. “The mayor met with us recently to discuss this.”

Mayor Mark Vulich approached the board at a recent meeting to say that under the current agreement, the county basically became a banker to the city, loaning it money for the project. In the original agreement, the county participation was limited to its contribution of $600,000. The county was not allowed to participate in and would not be responsible for the development of management of the railport. The city was given development and management control of the project.

Supervisor Jill Davisson opposed the original agreement.

“I felt pressured by the city dragging their feet and I don’t like that feeling,” Davisson said. “I also opposed it due to our attorney’s concerns and if the citizens have paid once, why would we make them pay again?”

With the orignal plan, Clinton citizens were taxed doubly, once for being part of the county and once for being part of the city. The biggest concern is the effect the bond could have on the county budget.

“I don’t see the city ethically being expected to pay that back,” Schmidt said. “The assets reside in the railport. We have a history of no debt in the county and we want to retain that. There will be no money back to the county with this plan.”

With drought and low crop yields this summer, the project is not expected to move forward quickly.

“With the economy and everything that is going on, I don’t see anything happening soon,” Davisson said.

But no matter what the progress is, the Supervisors will be significantly involved.

“We need to be a partner,” Davisson said. “We need a voice in this. We need to get this dealt with in a better manner than what was originally done.”

The board plans to hold a public hearing on the issue at the Aug. 6 meeting.

Other Actions:

• Approval of Building Maintenance Secretary I job description and personal appointment.

• Approval of road closure request from Top Shelf Race Productions for the Crossroads Triathlon on Aug. 4 from 8 to 11 a.m. from 245th Street from DeWitt to U.S. 30 and Z-24 from U.S. 30 to 190th Street.

• Approval of tax adjustment for Leon and Linda Gasper.

• Approval of continuation of the Sheriff’s Union Contract for fiscal year 2012/2013 as is except with a 1.8 percent wage increase.

• Approval of preferred provider agreement for Bridgeview Community Mental Health Center and Center for Alcohol and Drug Services.

• Authorization of medical examiner investigator service contracts and medical examiner transport service contracts.

• Approval of cash on hand report.

• Adoption of ordinance future land use map amendment.

• Adoption of ordinance zoning map amendment.

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