Tama County Board of Supervisors By John Speer CIP jspeer@tamatoledonews.com

“We need a complete lake renovation in five to seven years,” Robert Etzel, executive director of the Tama County Conservation Board, reminded the board of supervisors of the plans for Otter Creek Lake on Wednesday morning, Dec. 26. He made the comment during presentation of the annual fiscal year 2017-18 conservation report. Etzel said the Conservation Board continues to work toward a 25 percent matching cBoard-level grant amount expected to total $300,00 – $400,000. This amount will supplement a federal grant to be sought for an overhaul of county-owned lake located northeast of Toledo Toledo. Total cost of the located estimated at $2 million. The Conservation Board has been setting aside money for matching amount needed for this project, he said. The matchingeport also detailed a listing of other conservation project needs throughout the county. “The biggest challenge will be throughout an increased capital projects budget for the next 10 years,” the report states. An amount totaling “$100,000 or more” will be sought for each year. The report notes the fund has been boosted from $50,000 two years ago to a total of $87,935 for the current fiscal year. Listed among the additional infrastructure work and its estimated costs over the period are: Otter Creek- engineering and development group camp / cabin area $300,000, campground electrical updates $180,000, Hansen addition (acquisition begun in 2007, now total 252 acres) wetland acquisitions $100,000, warehouse addition $50,000, playground renovations $40,000; T. F. Clark Park, ruralplaygroundew restroom $30, 000, play equipment $10,000, shelter restoration $10,000; Columbia Wildlife Area- invasives work $10,000. Also noted were the October, 2017, donation of about 60 acres from MOG Midwest, Inc. the successor by merger with Cessford Construction in Indian Village Township Section 15 and the hiring of Logan Roberts as naturalist and park ranger. The Tama County Conservation Board manages 15 areas with a total of nearly 1,100 acres the report says. They include: Columbia Wildlife Area 160 acres southeast of Tama; Duffus’ Landing on Iowa River west of Chelsea; Maria Hladik Roadside Park on U.S. 63 north of Toledo; Iowa River Natural Area- 100 acres west of Chelsea; Wolf creek Trail from Gladbrook north 2.75 miles; Manatt’s Landing on Iowa river at south edge of Tama; Heritage Wetlands Wildlife Area 76 acres west of Salt Creek in York Township; Long Point Landing Section 4 Richland Township; Izak Walton Shooting Facility wets of Toledo; Lohberger Memorial Park wildlife area five acres northwest of Toledo; McCoy Landing- Section 9 Indian Village Township; Reinig 46 acres Wildlife and Nature Study Area west of Toledo; and the OMG Midwest / Cessford tract and Otter Creek Lake and Park. Members of the Tama County Conservation Baord are John Keenan, Nathan Wrage, Carolyn Adolphs, Allan Atchison and Bryan Wacha. Ellen Graff served on the board until December, 2018, when she resigned due a change in employment hours and Wacha was appointed to fill her post. The annual report shows total expenditures of $514,539 during fiscal 2017-18. Flex Card Change The supervisors approved a change in the Fex Card Policy for employees to allow for the total amount owed to be deducted from an employee’s last paycheck in the event of a resignation. The Flex Card program provides separate accounts for county employees which are funded by the county in amounts up to $2,650 to pay for medical costs not covered by insurance and for up to $5,000 for child day care. The amounts are repaid over the course of the year from individual payroll checks in 24 periods. During the employee’s retirement year, the elected amount of contribution cannot exceed the employee’s contributed amount during their employment. A total of about 70 county employees participate in the Flex Card program it was reported. In other business on Wednesday: •a recommendation from Bill Safely, a Tama Township trustee, calling for a warning sign was deemed not necessary by Lyle Brehm, county engineer. He told Safely because of his training and experience he was very cautious about the placement of such signs. He said site distance, the speed limit and accident history are factors in making sign decisions. Safely had asked consideration of a sign warning of traffic at K Avenue which accesses Business Highway 30 on the east edge of Tama. The corner carries traffic from a number of nearby locations including the South Tama school bus barn, Iowa Premium, Tama Livestock Auction, Bituminous Materials, Darling Ingredients and the Iowa DOT maintenance facility. Safely maintained motorists unfamiliar with the traffic who exit the U.S. 30 Expressway cound benefit from a warning about the traffic at the intersection. •Michelle Yuska was sworn-in as Tama county Treasurer for her third-four year term. Supervisors also approved her decision to transfer County tax sales lists to the Tama Museum for digitizing. Some of ht rcords date as early as 1864. •approved weekly claims totaling $217,012. •set the annual reorganizational meeting for Jan. 2, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. due to the regularly scheudled Monday meeting falling on New Year’s Eve day. The Tama County Compensation Boardd report was reset for that date at 10 a.m.