• Mon June 11 2007
  • Posted Jun 11, 2007
Supervisors decide to prohibit all beer gardens and other outdoor alcohol service. The Wright County Board of Supervisors gave preliminary approval to a new ordinance pertaining to RAGBRAI vendors. The board decided a distinction should be made for existing businesses that wish to sell alcoholic beverages on July 24 when RAGBRAI passes through Eagle Grove, Clarion and Lake Cornelia. The first proposal stated, "The presence of RAGBRAI in Wright County on July 24, 2007 has the potential to overwhelm local law enforcement personnel. Therefore, to ensure public safety and to facilitate local law enforcement, the county has determined that no applicant shall be permitted to operate an outdoor alcoholic beverage garden on that date." County Attorney Eric Simonson suggested the board specify that established businesses (such as a country club) could operate on their own property only. The board then passed the first reading of the amended ordinance, with the following paragraph added: "Established businesses are allowed to operate in their usual manner." The supervisors could give final approval to the ordinance next week. Wright County Chief Deputy Sheriff Jim Lester was also present at the board meeting to discuss a related RAGBRAI matter. There has been a request for a five-day liquor license for Jeff Mussman, 2217 175th Street. It is the Mussman's intent to sell alcoholic beverages for RAGBRAI riders at that location (about four miles north of Clarion). The State of Iowa has approved the request. Lester said the county's new RAGBRAI ordinance bans outdoor beverage gardens in the rural areas for that day. "Our resources within the department are going to be stretched anyway. To have to answer problems with something like this out in the county could be very difficult, given the number of riders participating." The supervisors voted to deny the alcohol permit. Supervisor Stan Watne shared a letter with the board concerning a Resource Enhancement and Protection committee. Before a city or county conservation board, or a nonprofit organization, can apply for a REAP grant, it must be reviewed by a county committee. Wright County did not have a committee in 2006. The Iowa legislature will likely fund REAP this coming year at $15.5 million, the third highest level ever. Local groups will not be able to apply without a local committee. So Watne submitted the following names as committee members: Bruce Lindner, Myron Amdahl, Carl Roberts, Tom Groom, Jim Seibert, Rex Peterson, John Meyer and Bill Drury. The board again discussed with County Engineer Stephen Reitz the repair options on county road C-70. The road is already in bad shape, especially a four-mile stretch east of Highway 69 that is currently being pounded by trucks working along Interstate 35. "We are now looking at subbase problems with the existing road, so I don't know if in-place recycling will work without creating other issues," said Reitz. He said the best solution might be to patch the worst areas for now and wait until the entire road is scheduled for new asphalt in the summer of 2009. Reitz also informed the board that work will begin this Thursday on R-38. It is expected to take four weeks (weather permitting) to complete the patching project.

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