Conservation board takes step closer on bylaws

The Lee County Conservation Board moved their setup to the north side of the center and have all staff at the table and are in a position now where the public has better access to the conversations of the board. Photo by Chuck Vandenberg/PCC


MONTROSE – The Lee County Conservation Board took another step toward finalizing its revamped bylaws Tuesday night.

At the board’s regular meeting, the board reviewed the bylaws and approved some amendments that were recommended by county officials.

The board debated briefly on when to elect new officers. New board member Liza Alton thought that naming new officers in January would be a more common approach to changing leadership. Board vice chairman Harry Sylvester said the bylaws as written provided some flexibility to set officers either in December or January and also gives some time for the board to consider the positions.

After the conversation, the board decided to leave that language as it was.

Unsworth said the biggest change in the bylaws is probably the language governing expenditures. Any expenses over $5,000 would now require a bidding process.

“The big change is just simplifying the expenditures,” Unsworth said. “After $5,000 we just follow the bid procedures set forth by the (Lee County Board of) supervisors. It would give the board a bit more buying power than other department heads, but we also have equipment and some things we need to get so that gives us a bit more flexibility,”

“The bid procedures the supervisors have set follow Iowa code so that takes care of all that language in there as well.”

Board member Bill Mullan asked Unsworth how the duck blind committee work is going. Unsworth said some of the new recommendations that have been coming from the meetings were forwarded to the personnel at the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, that govern the grant money that was used to purchase property.

“We’re still waiting to hear back from them on the recommendations we made. We sent those to them, but haven’t heard back from them yet,” Unsworth said.

The board also heard from naturalist Clay Steele who said more than 1,000 youth had been through the Heron Bend Conservation facility in March. He said more than 50 class programs were held at the center in just 28 days in March. Steele also updated the board on upcoming events including the Prairie Easter Egg Hunt on March 24. DNR officials will also be dumping 1,000 trout in Wilson Lake at noon on March 23. Those under 16 may fish and possess trout if they are with an adult who is licensed and possesses a trout fee, however the combined limit will be five trout. If those under 16 purchase their own trout fee, they can then possess their own five trout limit.

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