The Mitchell County Courthouse

The Mitchell County Jail will be getting a new roof for $66,634.

On Aug. 20 the County Board of Supervisors approved a base bid of $58,066 from Mason City Roofing for the new roof, plus an additional $8,568 for an upgrade that includes higher-grade shingles.

David Hartogh, courthouse maintenance supervisor, said if the county pays the additional cost, the roof might be able to survive a hail storm.

“I don’t think you ever regret getting the best that you can,” Hartogh said. “You will always regret getting the cheapest.”

The jail was completed in 2001. 

Sheriff Greg Beaver said the current roof shingles should have lasted longer than 18 years, but "hail, sun, wind and heavy snow has shortened the life span."

"The roof has leaked in some areas during the winter, so it is time for replacements," he said. 

Installation of the new roof is expected to begin in December and take about three months.

The supervisors also approved a letter to be sent to state officials asking them to upgrade the Master Matrix scoring system for granting permits for confined animal feeding operations.

Supervisor Barb Francis wrote the letter with input from several county residents who are concerned about CAFOs.

“The Matrix has not been updated since it was adopted in 2002,” the letter states. “The size and concentration of confinements have changed drastically since that time.”

The supervisors have been receiving more and more complaints from those living near CAFOs, as well as people concerned about air and water quality, according to the letter.

The supervisors are asking state officials to increase the Master Matrix passing score to greater than 50 percent of the potential points to provide an incentive for CAFO operators to provide more protections for land, air and water quality.

Some other suggestions in the letter include increasing the minimum separation distances to residences, public land and water sources; closing the loophole that allows for reduced separation distances when existing CAFOs are expanded; and developing an electronic management system for the Master Matrix and manure management plans.

The letter is being sent to Gov. Kim Reynolds, members of the Iowa Legislature – including those in leadership positions – and officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

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