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Seek rezoning for residential properties at Union Grove Lake

Tama County Board of Supervisors

August 16, 2019
By John Speer - Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

"Being able to enforce nuisance laws at the lake," is the aim of a group of Union Grove Lake home owners attorney Mike Marquess told the Tama County Board of Supervisors on Monday. More than a dozen of the group were on hand to back their request to rezone the lake from residential (R-1) to Lake-1 (L-1.)

Supervisors indicated they would likely be willing to proceed following meetings between the home owners and the Tama County Board of Health and Planning and Zoning Commission.

Marquess and Nancy Kern, also representing the group, back the change. Marquess said it will provide for a method to abate nuisance properties found around the 110-acre state-owned lake.

Article Photos

-Iowa DNR graphic

He said there are some junk vehicles, properties with weeds or tall grass and some buildings and trailers which are the focus of the effort.

Through civil action set forth by redesignation of the lake properties Marquess said the group believes it will be easier to remedy the violations through civil action by personal request or the court.

Union Grove Lake has a total of 76 year-around and 46 part-time private residences Kern said. The lake is between Gladbrook and Garwin.

Both Kern and Marquess are also members of the Union Grove Lake Homeowners Association. The group backing the zoning change is not directly representative of the association according to Marquess.

Renew Pledge to Region 6 Housing

Supervisors approved a resolution pledging a Tama County contribution totaling $11,244 cash assistance to the Region 6 Housing Trust Fund for fiscal year 2020-2021.

The funds are used for owner-occupied housing improvements for those meeting income guidelines and including emergency home repairs.

Marty Wymore, Region 6 executive director, told supervisors the program applies annually for about $240,000 of Iowa Housing Authority State Housing Trust funds for Tama County which requires a 25 percent local contribution. Money secured from cities as well as the county provide the match.

The entire programs covers a four-county region with the counties of Marshall, Poweshiek and Hardin included in addition to Tama. The money is pro-rated on a per-capita basis and Tama County has received some $24,000 more in funding or a total of $280,765 since 2015.

Wymore said the total funding is average out over a three to five year period.

He said last year the tornado which damaged a large amount of housing in Marshalltown was the main beneficiary of the program.

In other business the supervisors:

approved first reading of a county ordinance governing tanning bed facilities. Todd Apfel, county environmental health office, had asked for the change after the State of Iowa decision to end its oversight of the beds. Apfel said the county be enabled to continue with inspections and enforcement under the ordinance.

approved a U.S. Highway 63 pre-construction agreement with the Iowa Department of Transportation for paving of shoulders along the route from Traer eight miles north to the Black Hawk County line. The work will include paving approaches at Tama county gravel road intersections with the highway.

approved Windstream utility permits in Indian Village and Grant townships.

approved weekly claims totaling $177,803.



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