Johnson County Ready To Move On From Fire, Floods

By Mark Carlson, Reporter

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By Mark Carlson

IOWA CITY, Iowa - Johnson County officials are moving forward after a difficult period for many departments.

“I wouldn’t wish this upon anyone,” said county engineer Greg Parker. In March Parker watched as the county’s secondary roads building burned throughout a late winter night. “That was traumatic and devastating to our department.”

The county is still deciding how to move forward from the fire. County chairperson Janelle Rettig said officials will likely spend several million dollars to build a new larger building and replace a handful of badly damaged trucks.

In April widespread flash flooding caused damaged to homes and roadways.

“It really seems like we're waiting on the locusts or the next thing to beset upon us,” said county supervisor Rod Sullivan. “I don't know, we're crossing our fingers and hoping we're through the tough part.”

Damage assessments are now underway following the recent flooding along the Iowa River. Terrence Neuzil, who serves as the county spokesman, said the county will seek federal funding in the recovery.

County officials were also recently dealt several perceived “man-made” blows. In May voters rejected a plan for a new justice center, which had been a primary focus among supervisors. Board members also recently expressed concern with a property tax reform bill, which they fear could cost the county necessary tax dollars.

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