Jacob Reuter’s rezoning request for the Buckhorn Creamery property was dropped, while asbestos test results are processed from the site.

Some officials initially cheered earlier this year when Reuter bought the property from Craig Skott, who had been issued an abatement notice to clean up the property and dilapidated buildings. But clean-up and auto salvage can be messy business, and neighbors raised concerns about burning at the property, which is located near the Maquoketa Airport west of Maquoketa.

The historic creamery and rumored party spot had also continued to face vandalism, including at least one break-in since Reuter bought the property.

In addition, Jackson County Zoning Administrator Ben Kober said April 9 that the business wouldn’t be fully covered by the rezoning Reuter requested. An ordinance amendment would likely be required if he reapplies and gains approval. 

Soft and wet

Watch out for soft roads anytime you’re on gravel, Jackson County Engineer Clark Schloz cautioned. 

“It’s extremely soft out there,” he said April 9. 

More rain drenched the area later in the week. Those soft roads are a little scary for school buses, which have a high center of gravity. “In soft spots, you can feel the bus rock back and forth,” said supervisor Mike Steines, who is also a bus driver.

On 60th Avenue, a “huge mud bog” requires people to detour, according to call center logs April 9.

And if you can’t see the bottom of the road through standing or flowing water, don’t drive through it. “It doesn’t take a lot to get a vehicle floating downstream or stuck in a hole,” Schloz said.

Several county roads are underwater and could be into next week.

Bars near schools limited

The Jackson County supervisors April 9 passed the second and waived the third readings of an ordinance that would limit future bars near schools.

The ordinance, which only affects rural areas, wouldn’t affect any current businesses. The votes passed 2-1, with supervisors Larry McDevitt and Jack Willey voting in favor and supervisor Mike Steines opposed.

Official school bond results

Trimming $1.5 million from a proposal for a new elementary school in Bellevue did little to persuade voters to vote for the proposal.

The second vote on the project in less than a year failed to gain the 60 percent needed to pass. It failed to win the approval of even a majority of voters.

According to the official canvass April 9, 860 people voted to bond for the proposal, while 941 voted against it. A second question, which would have let the school district levy for the project, failed 821-974.

The bond measure failed despite satellite voting that made voting more convenient for elementary parents.

The school must wait at least six months before attempting another vote.

About 52 percent of voters turned out to vote. The election “went very smoothly,” said Jackson County Auditor Alisa Smith.

Where’s the well? The septic?

County GIS and public health departments want to map wells and septic systems in Jackson County.

The project could be a boon for contractors, homeowners and real estate agents, county officials said. Jones and Linn counties already have such mapping in place.

The project will start with mapping when public health administrator Kimberly Grandinetti does inspections. Mapping what already exists is a more ambitious project.

The main cost is a receiver of about $3,000 that could transmit GPS coordinates when an inspector is out in the county.