Johnson County Board of Supervisors extend building closures to May 4

The Johnson County Board of Supervisors unanimously agreed on Thursday to extend building closure until May 4 as predictions find Iowa’s projected peak on May 5.


Megan Nagorzanski

Johnson County Board of Supervisors vote on the second reading of the Unified Development Ordinance at the Johnson County Treasurer office on Thursday December 12, 2019.

Riley Davis, News Reporter

The Johnson County Board of Supervisors extended the closures of county buildings to the public until May 4, with the exception of the Johnson County Courthouse.

The board’s decision followed Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds’ mandate to extend building closures until April 30. The extension until May 4 was spurred on by the fact that the state’s expected peak for the novel coronavirus pandemic is predicted for May 5.

Johnson County Supervisor Lisa Green-Doulgass said the best thing the board can do is take decisions on closure extensions one step at a time and have realistic thoughts when it comes time to reconsider the extensions.

“The governor’s order only went to [April 30] so we can’t get too far out ahead of that, but I think that if they’re correct about the peak, [then] people need to think about the weeks after because it doesn’t just peak and disappear,” Supervisor Janelle Rettig said.

RELATED: Johnson County Board of Supervisors limit public access to courthouse

The board unanimously agreed, and the building closures will appear on the agenda roughly two weeks from the April 16 meeting for reconsideration.

“I think we’ve known all along that this was probably a longer process, but thought that a couple weeks at a time was a prudent way to move forward as we continue … to discuss it every week and see where things are at,” Chair Supervisor Rod Sullivan said.

Additionally, the board approved two land-use agreements at the Johnson County Historic Poor Farm, a county-owned farm that used to be a public home to care for the “poor and mentally ill”. The land-use agreements, which allow local farmers to farm the land, were with Simon Bwayo, Adam Bwayo, and Mary Bwayo for a three-year lease and Theo Havuga for a single-year lease.

The land use agreements allow Johnson County Historic Poor Farm to farm those lands until the lease agreement is up. The total annual use fees owed to the Bwayo family and to Havuga total $250 each.