Letter to the Editor: Questions for the county
Ever have a day when something keeps needling you and you have a chance to let it out and you grab it? Today was the day!
After wallowing in the mud on Tama County gravel roads for the last two weeks, the Tama County Supervisors meeting was to be held today at 9:30 a.m.
My first question was why the only thru gravel road between T47, IA-96, US 63, and E29 has been left to deteriorate into nothing less than a mud bog? No answers were forthcoming. Also asked why NW Tama county roads are poorly maintained when roads south of US 30 are graveled every year? Again no response. Today was promised to have rock hauled into our local area roads. Unfortunately the roads are in such sad shape that loaded trucks will only do more damage to the road bed. Redoing the bed into a crown again instead of making flat roads would help alleviate the mud bog issue, but I digress. We will have to wait until drier conditions prevail.
Why was the Vanguard Company from Cedar Rapids hired and at what cost to taxpayers to reappraise properties in Tama County? Supervisor Vest responded he didn’t know the cost off hand yet never bothered to offer to find out. With a staffed and salaried Assessors office I asked why it was necessary to hire outside help. Again Mr. Vest responded “We appraise every 10 years and last time the Assessors office didn’t do a very good job”. Then why do we have said office?
With increase in appraisals assumption is higher property tax assessments. The Legislature in Des Moines is touting lower property tax rates as counties are reappraising at higher values. Put those two options together and you can only see property owners digging deeper to pay higher taxes for the privilege of owning a home.
The tax dollars collected from the wind tower farm south of Gladbrook, capped at 30% of value, was designated for Tama County road fund. Asked if this was true Mr. Vest once again offered “Yes that was true, but the monies had been split.” He never was forthcoming on exactly where these “split” resources went. Is this a breach of contract with the county taxpayers?
Salt Creek Wind Farm is now in stage 2. Asked what that exactly meant Mr. Vest once again responded “You need to contact the project owners.” Wouldn’t one assume when a multimillion dollar project is going up in your county as a Supervisor you would have your hand in the mix? It was mentioned that many landowners are refusing easements on their property. Supervisor Anderson then mentioned “eminent domain”. To which I responded “Is this taking us back to the cause of 1776?” It’s all about power and money. Those with the money have the power.
I appreciated the time allowed me by the supervisors and their kind attention to my concerns. Answers to unanswered questions would be welcomed.