Sheriff asks supervisors to implement a social hosting ordinance

By Rick Morain
Jefferson Herald

Greene County Sheriff Jack Williams asked the board of supervisors to re-examine whether to enact a social hosting ordinance at the April 4 supervisors. Such an ordinance would make it a violation for a property owner to allow the consumption of alcohol by young people ages 18 to 20 on his or her property.

Iowa has a social host law relating to individuals ages 17 and younger, but not for those 18 to 20. Alcohol possession and consumption by 18 to 20 year olds is illegal in Iowa. Williams had previously discussed a social hosting ordinance for that age group with the board, but no action had yet been taken.

Williams said that several underage parties where alcohol was consumed have taken place in recent weeks. The proposed ordinance is designed to discourage adults from allowing such activity on their property. The board is expected to place the request on the agenda of a future meeting.


• In response to a request from Greene County landowner Dan Tronchetti, county attorney Thomas Laehn had reviewed the county’s options for recommendations regarding Summit Carbon Solutions’ proposed liquid carbon dioxide pipeline across the northeast part of the county. Laehn said that the board of supervisors could adopt a motion to send a written recommendation to the Iowa Utility Board. In this case Tronchetti had asked the board to object to the private Summit firm’s being allowed to use eminent domain to cross privately owned land.

Pocahontas County has adopted a resolution pertaining to pipeline installations across drainage districts in that county. Laehn noted that the county is not the governing body of those districts; that power is retained in the drainage districts themselves. He emphasized that the boards of trustees of the drainage districts should be the agencies that file any objections, not the board of supervisors. The supervisors sit as trustees of most of the drainage districts in the county, but any action should be taken as drainage trustees, not as the county supervisor board, Laehn said. No action was approved at the meeting.


• Laehn reported that his office’s criminal caseload now stands at 74. At the height of the pandemic it had risen to 110 cases, but had since dropped to just 54 cases. The increase of 20 cases since then took place over the past two weeks.

• The board approved transfers of funds to the county’s secondary roads department. The board authorized the final transfer of $615,807 from the rural fund and $162,500 from the local option sales and service tax (LOSST) fund to secondary roads for the current 2021-22 fiscal year. The board makes such transfers on a regular basis every fiscal year.

• The board appointed Clayton Dudley to the county’s Pioneer Cemetery Commission. That action followed a discussion of responsibility for the county’s 10 pioneer cemeteries. The Iowa Code defines a pioneer cemetery as one that has no more than 12 burials in the past 50 years.

• The board adopted a proclamation designating the week of April 4-10 as National Public Health Week. Greene County Public Health Director Becky Wolf had asked the board to consider the proclamation.

• The board approved ag land and family farm disallowances for 2021, payable in 2023. The action on ag land covers land with fewer than 10 acres or that is not contiguous to the owner’s other property, and the action on family farms covers land that no longer is eligible for that designation. The 18 disallowances average only about two dollars each.

• The board approved the county recorder’s quarterly fee report for January-March, which totaled $93,117.02. Of that total, $68,155.46 was forwarded to the state, and the county retained the remaining $24,961.56.

• The board approved the county auditor’s quarterly passport report for January-March, which totaled $1,715.
The board of supervisors meets regularly at 8:30 a.m. every Monday in the board room on second floor of the courthouse.


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