WAPELLO — A drive to enhance rural and community water systems and internet service in Louisa County is continuing to gather steam, county supervisor Brad Quigley indicated Tuesday to the rest of the Louisa County supervisors during the board’s regular meeting.
During the supervisors’ individual reports on meetings they had attended the previous week, Quigley said he and other area economic development officials met with representatives of Muscatine Power and Water and Louisa Communications to discuss expanding or enhancing their services in Louisa County.
Two years ago, Quigley raised the idea of reviving earlier efforts to extend rural water into Louisa County. Those earlier efforts had taken place about 15 years ago, but the discussions were dropped after a preliminary survey was taken and too few rural residents registered to move any expansion forward.
In 2019, when he began discussing a revival of that earlier effort, Quigley said he felt the latest drive would succeed because area water system operators seemed more anxious to participate.
During Tuesday’s meeting, Quigley gave a short report on the meetings he and Louisa Development Group Executive Director Cole Smith and Louisa County Extension Director Kathy Vance recently held with MPW and other officials.
“Cole and I met with MPW for the water and they are very interested in bringing water into the county,” Quigley reported, adding Louisa-Muscatine School District officials also have contacted and are interested in the idea.
He said contacts also will be made with local cities to determine their level of interest in the expanded water system.
Quigley said officials at Rathbun Rural Water also expressed interest in expanding their system into Louisa County. However, Quigley said, the utility planned to use MPW water, so he felt the process would be less complicated to deal directly with MPW about a potential expansion into Louisa County.
After meeting with the MPW water system officials to discuss that system’s expansion into Louisa County, Quigley said he and Smith met a few days later with MPW’s Machlink representatives to discuss the expansion of internet systems into Louisa County.
He said the Machlink representatives indicated they are interested in a partnership with local internet/communications provider Louisa Communications, so another meeting was held.
He said that meeting involved himself, Smith, Vance and Louisa Communications representatives Mike Karagin and Randy Foor.
“We’re going to have monthly meetings to get this going,” Quigley said, explaining Mike Norris of the Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission also was contacted about possible water and internet grant opportunities.
Other business from Tuesday’s board meeting
The supervisors also met with several department heads for their regular updates.
VA director Adam Caudle reported he had 86 veteran or spouse contacts since his May report. A veteran appreciation meal postponed from this spring had now been rescheduled for Oct. 10 at the Muscatine Armory.
He said the meal will be advertised and RSVPs requested.
The county’s secondary roads department is performing a variety of ditching and mowing activities, county engineer Adam Shutt told the board during his update.
He also discussed the Iowa 92 proposed improvements west of Columbus Junction. That work is scheduled for 2022.
Public health administrator Roxanne Smith reported 4,082 complete COVID-19 vaccinations had been given to Louisa County residents. She also said her office has the one-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine available.
In final action, the board:
- Approved a fireworks permit for David Hills;
- Approved an application from Interstate Power to provide a new service on 70th Street.