CLINTON — With the Iowa Drainage District Association and three Iowa counties not on the same page, the Clinton County Board of Supervisors decided to table talks on helping fund a lawsuit.
At the board meeting last week, the Supervisors discussed two proposals they received from the Iowa Drainage District Association and two counties requesting funds for a lawsuit filed by Iowa Water Works. The counties named as defendants in the lawsuit were Buena Vista, Calhoun and Sac.
The IDDA requested $5,000 for three years from Clinton County. After holding discussion, the Supervisors agreed that they needed more information before deciding whether to support giving funds to the counties for the lawsuit. The board agreed that Supervisor Shawn Hamerlinck would collect the questions the Supervisors had and contact a representative from the IDDA to get more information on the lawsuit.
Hamerlinck brought the information he received from the representative of IDDA back to the board meeting on Tuesday. The representative stated that there should not have been a letter sent by both the IDDA and the counties. He said the IDDA board met with the supervisors who signed the letter last week and they are planning to meet again. After that, they plan on sending out a joint letter “which will put an end to the confusion.”
“As they were sending them out, there was actually three groups that were all trying to raise money. No one actually knew where it was so there was an emergency meeting between those county Board of Supervisors and the IDDA to say, hey, we need to stop doing this. They have to kind of reset themselves and kind of decide where they’re going to be as a unit going forward,” he said.
Hamerlinck said the representative from the IDDA stated there are only four counties that have expressed interest in helping with the lawsuit. These counties have not said they will pay the full amount of $5,000 for three years, just that they have interest in helping the three counties. The Supervisors agreed that no action should be taken on the request until the IDDA and the Supervisors from the three counties come up with a formal proposal.
Vice Chairman Dan Srp said Clinton County differs from the other counties named in the lawsuit but thinks they should keep their eye on the lawsuit as it could affect the counties indirectly.
“I still think it’s important for us to stay on top of the situation and be familiar,” Srp said. “And I can see that there’s a time where it might become appropriate for us to be involved in some way but at this time I think we’re going to have to wait for them to get their effort unified.”
The board agreed they would wait for a formal proposal from the IDDA and the counties before making a decision on whether to provide funds for the lawsuit.
Herald Staff Writer John Rohlf can be reached at email@example.com.