Recent annexations by the city of Perry have brought about one-third of Drainage District 62 inside the corporate limits of the city. Dallas County Engineer Al Miller brought this state of affairs to the attention of the Dallas County Board of Supervisors Tuesday morning, noting in a memo “the opportunity does appear to exist to transfer control of Drainage District 62 to the city of Perry.”
According to chapter 468.322 of the Iowa Code, “If the board of supervisors of any county finds that 25 percent or more of the total area of any established drainage district is located within the corporate limits of any city,” the supervisors “may be resolution transfer to the city control of the entire drainage district, including the portion outside the corporate limits of the city.”
Drainage District 62 covers 893 acres lying mostly between K and L avenues from Forest Park Museum southward. About 286 acres or 32 percent of the total area now lies within the boundaries of Perry, Miller said.
“There appears there is no requirement the board take action,” Miller said, but he pointed to precedents from 2009, when the supervisors transferred control of two county drainage districts to the city of Waukee.
Miller said he met with Debra Kastantin of the Dallas County Auditor’s office and Nate Bandy and Jamie Zika of the Secondary Roads Department, and it appears the district is financially solid and has no major repairs or improvements on the near horizon.
The supervisors took no action Tuesday but directed the county engineer to bring them more information about the district and let all interested parties know the idea is afoot.
Mark Hanson, chair of the Dallas County Supervisors, said he was “sure the members of the district would want to know what the procedures would be going forward, if work had to be done or as far as sending the assessment.”
Miller said he would contact the members of the drainage district and Perry officials “to let them know what you’re contemplating. I’m sure it would be in everybody’s best interest to set up a meeting with everybody.”
Perry City Administrator Sven Peterson said the proposal sounded interesting and worth discussing.
“That’s something we’d be happy to discuss with the county leadership and county engineer,” Peterson said. “I know Jack (Butler, Perry Public Works director) and Matt (Ferrier of Bolton and Menk, the city’s consultant engineer) would have good input on the idea.”
Butler was also open to the idea and said such transfers are a natural part of the city’s growth.
“We don’t really deal too much with drainage districts,” Butler said, “because that was a county thing from back in the day. I would definitely want to sit down and meet with our engineer and sit and look at that area and make sure because in the past, we’ve had things handed to us and had somebody else’s headache handed to us. So I would recommend to the council and to Sven that we sit down and have Matt look at it and eyeball everything out and make sure everything’s kosher in that area.”