Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

June 5, 2014

Supervisors approve RIZ resolution

By Michael Schaffer
Managing Editor

---- — The Appanoose County Board of Supervisors Monday morning, June 2 approved a resolution designating a Rural Improvement Zone and establishing boundaries for the Homeowners Association of the Coves of Sundown Lake.

The resolution states the Appanoose County Board of Supervisors have determined "that the proposed rural improvement zone is in need of improvements." The resolution establishes what is known as the "Sundown Lake Rural Improvement Zone" effective as of Nov. 13, 2012.

The decision by the Board Monday to approve a resolution to allow a RIZ at Sundown Lake brings to close what could be described as an adversarial relationship with the Homeowners Association.

The Board in November of 2012 denied the Homeowners Association petition to form a RIZ at the lake. On Jan. 30, 2013 a judge annulled the Board's decision to deny a petition filed by the Homeowners Association to establish a RIZ.

The Board appealed to the Iowa Court of Appeals and on March 26 they upheld the district court ruling that allowed the establishment of the RIZ at Sundown Lake.

The Appeals Court ruled the Homeowners Association had standing "to request the writ, the Board acted improperly in finding the Association had failed to meet the filing requirements after granting a public hearing, and the Board acted improperly in considering irrelevant matters in denying the Association’s request for a rural improvement zone."

Once a RIZ is established, property taxes on subsequent improvements within the RIZ stay with the development. Currently, RIZ's do not have a sunset.

Iowa Code provides a procedure by which RIZ's may be created in counties with a private lake development and with less than 20,000 residents. One section of the code requires the county board of supervisors "to create such a zone upon receipt of a petition and after a determination the area requires improvements."

Improvements is defined to include dredging and erosion control measures, the types of improvements sought by the Homeowners Association. Their petition presented evidence concerning the need for improvements within the proposed zone, specifically concerning erosion and silting.

Three Sundown Lake homeowners attended the meeting.

It was reported at Monday's meeting that there are 352 lots platted at Sundown Lake. Currently, between five and 15 homes a year are being built and they have 80 homes there now. Out of the 352 lots, they have 25 still for sale.

In other action, the board approved:

• The vacation of 213th Avenue located north and east of Rathbun. The bridge on the road washed out during the flood of 2008 and a portion was closed.

• A 28 E agreement for Case Management Services.

• A fuel bid was awarded to Agriland FS Inc. based in Winterset.

• The hire of Todd Garrett Faris with the Secondary Road Department as part-time summer help effective May 27 at $12 per hour.

• Approved salary increases for two sheriff's department employees. Jonathon Printy's salary goes to 79 percent of sheriff's salary effective May 25 and Alyssa Cowan to $19.07 effective May 18.

• The abatement of $1,546 in taxes for BLL in Moulton at the request of the county treasurer.

• A resolution to set a public hearing for June 16 to transfer county property.

• Resolutions for the date of June 16 for public hearings for three proposed tax sales for one lot in Centerville and two lots in Moulton.

• The date of June 16 for a public hearing for a preliminary plat to be submitted by Secluded Land Company. They have identified 11 building sites near Honey Creek State Park that they want to develop.

As an information only item, Linda Rutherford was announced as the director/administrator for Appanoose County Public Health effective June 2 at $56,000 per year.

The next Appanoose County Board of Supervisors meeting is at 9 a.m. Monday, June 16 at the boardroom in the Courthouse.