The Dallas County Board of Supervisors met in its regular session on Tuesday, Feb. 13 in Adel. Here are some of the topics they discussed.
Interstate memorial bridge signage resolution passes
In the early morning hours of Saturday, March 26, 2016, the lives of two Des Moines Police Officers, Susan Farrell and Carlos Puente-Morales, were taken in a head-on crash with a drunk driver, driving on the wrong side of Interstate 80 in Waukee. Now, with the approval of the Board of Supervisors, the Sugar Creek Bridge, just to the east of the crash site will be named in their honor, pursuant to Iowa Administrative Code 761-131.10(5).
The resolution is by the County Supervisors is a necessary step in the process before approval from the Department of Transportation.
Dallas County Sheriff, Chad Leonard said that the signage at the bridge would be similar to the signage on the bridge on Highway 141 on the Polk County side of Grimes, which was named in honor of former Des Moines Police Officer, Sean Wissink, who died after losing control of his vehicle back in 2007.
Leonard said that he has been talking with the Des Moines Police Department about the signage and they selected the site on the Sugar Creek Bridge.
Leonard said that they could see a similar project in honor of former West Des Moines Police Officer, Shawn Miller, who died in a head-on crash on Highway 169 at the onramps to Interstate 80 while on his motorcycle back in August of 2016, but it will be up to what the West Des Moines Police Department wants to do.
Tyson submits application to High Quality Jobs Program
The Tyson plant near Perry is one of the locations being considered for a new renovation and are seeking tax incentives through the High Quality Jobs Program through the Iowa Economic Development Authority.
Linda Wunsch, executive director of the Greater Dallas County Development Alliance, said that the project under consideration is a “modernization program” which would add a chiller to the facility and would make the freezing process faster.
Under the High Quality Jobs program, Tyson would receive an “investment tax credit equal to a percentage of qualifying investment,” from Dallas County through tax increment financing refunds, which offsets Iowa income taxes owed, according to the Iowa Economic Development. The Board of Supervisors would have to hold a public hearing to set the area as an Urban Renewal Area in order to provide TIF funds.
To be eligible for the High Quality Jobs program, Tyson must apply prior to the beginning of the project and the created jobs must pay “at least 100% of the qualifying wage threshold at the start and 120% of the qualifying wage threshold by project completion and through the maintenance period unless in a distressed area.”
The retained jobs must pay “at least 120% of the qualifying wage threshold by project completion and through the maintenance period. The employer must also pay “80% of medical premiums for single coverage plans,” or “50% of medical premiums for family coverage plans,” or “for some level of medical and dental coverage and provides the monetary equivalent value through other employee benefits.”
The Iowa Economic Development Commission was set to consider the application at its February meeting, but Wunsch said that consideration has been pushed back to its March meeting. As a result, the action item has been tabled until the March 13 Board of Supervisors meeting.
Board canvasses Waukee bond referendum votes
The Waukee Community School District held a bond referendum election on Tuesday, Feb. 6 and the community overwhelmingly approved a new $117 million second high school in the City of Waukee. At Tuesday’s Supervisor’s meeting, those results were made official after the Board members crosschecked the results to make sure they were accurate.
Dallas County Auditor, Julia Helm said that there were lines all day long on Election Day, including lines at 8 p.m. when the polls closed at the Waukee precinct. She said unofficial results were out by 8:30 p.m. on Election Night.
“We voted people until about 8:20 because whoever’s in line (when the polls close) gets to vote,” Helm said. “So we pull them in the building and away we go.”
Additionally, this is the first election to be held in Dallas County since the new Voter ID law was put into place, requiring a valid photo ID from all voters on election day. Helm said that it went “very smoothly.”
“The law allows, if they don’t have their ID, they just sign an additional oath of one more year, and then in  anyone who doesn’t have an ID will have to be a provisional ballot,” Helm said.