Following public hearing, supervisors unanimously vote to reject bids on Freeport property

By Zach Jensen,

Freeport resident Christine Kolarsky addressing the Winneshiek County Board of Supervisors during the public hearing, held the morning of Jan. 8, regarding the proposed sale of a piece of property regarded as a “flood buffer zone”. (Driftless Multimedia photo by Zach Jensen)

The Winneshiek County Board of Supervisors made an unexpected change of course during its regular meeting Monday, Jan. 8, regarding the Freeport property it had previously put up for bid. Following a public hearing on the matter, the supervisors unanimously voted to reject the two bids it received for purchase of the land and restart discussion of the matter at the next meeting.

During the public hearing, several Freeport and Decorah residents made cases against the sale of the land, including a complaint filed with the Iowa Public Information Board and the possibility that the land may contain a native burial site. Additionally, multiple Freeport residents shared their concerns that the sale of the land would reduce flood mitigation and increase the likelihood that their homes could be severely damaged by future floods. 

Later in the meeting, the Winneshiek County Attorney said he didn’t feel the supervisors had anything to be concerned about, in regard to the Iowa Public Information Board complaint. However, Van der Maten said the potential for the parcel to contain Native American burial sites is a little more concerning.

Full article in the January 11 Decorah Public Opinion Newspaper.

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