The Monroe County Board of Supervisors approved the Monroe County Sheriff and Monroe County Attorney moving forward with demanding a land owner fix his fence after the sheriff said his office has receive more than 40 service calls about cattle getting off the same property and onto Highway 34.

Sheriff Dan Johnson said there have been several instance from the same property, located on Highway 34 East, of cattle getting out and onto the highway, causing an extreme hazard for drivers. Sheriff Johnson said he has not been able to get the cattle owner to cooperate in building a fence that will keep the cattle in, so he was coming to the board to get permission to pursue a legal solution through the court system.

The county could pursue the case in court according to Monroe County Attorney John Pabst, since the cattle are technically trespassing, as they are off the owner’s property. If the landowner does not comply in building a suitable fence, the courts could then give permission to the county to go in and build a fence and charge the cost to the landowner’s property taxes.

After reviewing the information from Johnson and Pabst the supervisors voted to allow them to move forward with pursuing a legal remedy to the situation

The supervisors also discussed the possibility of adding Wellness Services to their insurance plan if employees are interested. County auditor Amanda Harlan told the board she had asked Wellmark about adding a wellness plan to their insurance and was told a basic plan would cost $5,304.

Harlan said according to Wellmark, Monroe County employees receive things like yearly physicals and regular preventative testing at below average rates, so adding a wellness plan that encourages those things could help raise those rates.

That is turn could lead to earlier detection of diseases and chronic conditions as well as better quality of life and health improvements for employees. Since the county’s insurance plan is self-funded this could lead to immediate savings as well. The supervisors decided to table a final decision and will be sending information out to employees to see if they are interested in such a program.

The board voted to go into a closed session to discuss their legal strategy for Monroe County vs. the Iowa Firearms Coalition and J.D. Thompson’s countersuit regarding the supervisors having signs up in the courthouse restricting bringing firearms into the building. The original suit has been settled but the countersuit is still ongoing. The board took no action after coming out of their closed sesseion.

In other business:

The board of supervisors considered a request for suspension of taxes for a resident but ultimately voted not to approve the request.

The board considered and approved homestead, military, business property tax credits and disabled veteran allowances/disallowances as recommended by the assessor for assessment year 2021.

The board accepted and approved the Weed Commissioner’s annual report and certification.

The board approved a utility permit for REC for Section 22 of Wayne Township to add power poles and extend their line.