Page County Board of Supervisors approved Tuesday, Feb. 4, for county engineer J.D. King to purchase a new brush mower.

Equipment purchases have been discussed in recent weeks with Supervisor Chuck Morris cautious about acquiring new road graders. King had proposed purchasing a road grader in fiscal year 2020 and fiscal year 2021.

Morris is not in favor of two road graders, noting how the county will have some financial responsibility for weir projects in rivers across the county. Although the county is expecting to have some financial assistance from the federal government, final cost and contributions have not yet been determined.

In the past, Morris has also stated the county is not in need of upgrading equipment at this time.

In other board news…

Jason Wittmuss, representing the Page County Fair Board, met with supervisors about the fair board’s budget and contributions. In recent years, supervisors have contributed $16,500 a year.

Last year, the fair board purchased property, formerly known as Phillip Builders, near the fairgrounds in Clarinda and plans to remodel an office within a building and make the building available to rent. Other portions of the buildings are being leased to AgriVision for storage. 

Wittmuss said the fair board is considering improvements to the hog barn.

No action was taken.

Clarinda Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Elaine Farwell met with the board about the chamber’s recent projects and donations from the county. No action was taken.

County officials and County Attorney Carl Sonksen will further research the lack of PILT payments from low-rent housing facilities in Shenandoah and Essex.

Payments in Lieu of Taxes are payments to taxing authorities to offset losses in property taxes due to the existence of nontaxable land within the authority’s jurisdiction. Those funds are like typical taxes that are for law enforcement, roads and other government operations.

According to records, payments from Shenandoah and Essex have decreased in the past 10 years. Sonksen speculates the reason for the limited pay is because of wording in tax codes.

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