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Tama County Supervisors appeal added land allowed in Meskwaki Tribal Trust

July 6, 2019
By John Speer - Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

An additional 35 acres of land has been approved for placement in trust for the Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa - Meskwakis- the Tama County Board of Supervisors said they had been informed. The notice of approval came from the Department of the Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs Bloomington, Minn. office they said.

The move will be met by an appeal of the decision to be filed by Tama County Attorney Brent Heeren. Supervisors authorized Heeren to file the appeal during their regular weekly meeting on Monday, July 1.

The added land is 35 acres in Section 7 Toledo Township located northwest of the Meskwaki Travel Plaza on the north side of the U.S. Highway 30 Expressway. This brings the total of Tama County land in trust for the Tribe to about 6,600 acres according to the county.

Article Photos

Tama County Board of Supervisors (l-r) 1st District Chair Larry Vest, Dinsdale, 2nd District Kendall Jordan, Toledo and 3rd District Dan Anderson, rural Tama.
Chronicle / News-Herald file photo

The supervisors' objection is the land is off the property tax roles and puts additional burden on other property taxpayers.

While the taxes on the 35 acres are currently $394 annually, in April of last year, supervisors charged about $588,708 is lost annually in county property tax receipts as the result of 6,338 acres the Tribe currently had in trust at that time.

Name Kopsa Budget Director

Tama County Auditor Laura Kopsa was officially named county budget director Monday by the supervisors. Kopsa said her predecessors and herself have acted in the capacity for many years

However the responsibility for paperwork and bookkeeping for a pair of additional projects which will span 15 years is seen as a requirement to create the director position.

The tax increment financing district for the wind turbines across northwestern Tama County and bonding and debt service for the 911 emergency radio system are listed as the additional work which is required.

Kopsa's appointment with added compensation of $3,500 annually was approved on a 3-0 vote by members Larry Vest, Dan Anderson and Kendall Jordan.

New Voting System

Supervisors also approved a mutual 28E agreement to join the Iowa Precinct Atlas Consortium. Kopsa, who also serves as county commissioner of elections, said the system will link precinct polling places with a central voting record system.

Laptop computers will be provided to poll workers at each voting location enabling them to verify voters' eligibility.

Kopsa said she has been reserving funds to make the computer and software purchases which is expected to be about $18,000. She said Tama County is among te last counties in the state to join the consortium.

In other business the supervisors:

approved a request to use the courthouse lawn for the Iowa Bible Reading Marathon on July 14.

reappointed Todd Kruse as a member of the compensation board.

reviewed two utility permits for Windstream in Salt Creek Township.

approved weekly claims totaling $120,373.



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