New subdivision to be built in Frytown, supervisors continue to address wages

By Paul D. Bowker
Posted 7/27/21

A new housing subdivision is being planned for Frytown, a village located northwest of Kalona in Johnson County.

The final plat request was approved by the Johnson County Board of Supervisors at …

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New subdivision to be built in Frytown, supervisors continue to address wages

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A new housing subdivision is being planned for Frytown, a village located northwest of Kalona in Johnson County.

The final plat request was approved by the Johnson County Board of Supervisors at its formal meeting on July 22.

The subdivision will be located at the intersection of 500th St. SW and Cosgrove Rd. SW, to the south of 500th St. and east of Cosgrove.

The developer, Rempel Construction of Iowa City, plans 31 houses in a 36-acre community that will also include two ponds, a community well and an area for community activities. Nineteen lots of about one acre each are proposed for single-family homes. Another 12 lots are being reserved for two-family duplex units.

The lots are already on sale, ranging from $70,000 to $90,000.

The property was farmland until September 2019, when it was rezoned from agricultural to residence.

“I felt like it was a really well thought-out use of the space,” said supervisor Lisa Green-Douglass, who recently visited Frytown.

Ashley Yedlik of Lone Tree, who was selected Princess of the Johnson County Fair, joined Fair Queen Madison Craig in thanking the board for issuing a proclamation honoring this year’s fair.

“We’ve put in so much time, so much effort, all of our blood, sweat and tears,” said Yedlik, who is a member of a 4-H club in Hills and has been involved in both FFA and 4-H groups. “It feels good from a 4-H and FFA kids’ standpoint that we have the county’s support in all that we do.”

The fair ends Wednesday, July 28, with a number of show competitions, market beef show, butterfly release at 5 p.m., family rodeo at 6 p.m. and fireworks display at 9:30. The Kalona Auction Hog Loadout is scheduled for 6 a.m.

County employee pay

At its work session on July 21, the board opened up discussion for a second consecutive week on the rate of pay for county employees who have been transferred to a non-bargaining unit.

A number of employees spoke in favor of a proposal offering a raise of 15 cents an hour for each year of service, replacing the union-based step system. They received a 1% cost-of-living increase on July 1, but employees with at least five years of seniority were no longer eligible for step increases because of the non-bargaining pay structure.

The approximate cost of the 15-cents proposal is $150,000, which is about $104,000 under the budgeted amount.

Based on 50,000 Johnson County property owners, “That works out to three bucks a year for the average property owner in this county,” said supervisor Jon Green, former mayor of Lone Tree. “I think anybody up here [on the board] or on that side can make a pretty compelling argument that paying an extra three bucks a freakin’ year is worth it for our employees.”

The board also heard a proposal from Johnson County Ambulance, which is requesting approval to hire four additional full-time employees. An increase in calls has resulted in mounting overtime among the department’s current EMTs and first responders, said director Fiona Johnson. The board is expected to take action at its July 29 formal session.

“What people do expect is when you call 911 and you need an ambulance, you are going to get an ambulance,” Green said.

New Health Director

Danielle Pettit-Majewski, who had been Director of Washington County Public Health since 2013, was named Director of Johnson County Public Health at the department’s July 21 meeting.

She begins work on August 18.

“I’m looking forward to getting to know the people of Johnson County and forming strong partnerships to improve the health of the community,” Pettit-Majewski said in a statement. “Covid-19 has put a spotlight on public health for the last year and a half, and we have an excellent opportunity to tackle the root causes that lead to adverse outcomes. There’s a lot of good work to do and I’m ready to get started.”

Pettit-Majewski is a 2010 graduate of the University of Iowa College of Public Health, and is a member of the Iowa Public Health Association Board of Directors. She has served on the Washington City Council since 2018.

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