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Absentee ballots finally available

Absentee ballots were supposed to have been available for early voting on Monday, Oct. 7.

The voting forms hadn’t arrived from the printer H.M. Adkins & Son. Inc. so no early voting.

On Tuesday, the ballots had yet to arrive. Some counties, state election officials said, hadn’t even viewed final proofs of their ballots yet Warren County, for example.

Local election officials were prepared to offer paper ballots for people to vote. Then, when the ballots are counted on Tuesday, Nov. 5, the paper ballots would have been transcribed to official ballots so they could be tabulated by voting machine.

State elections officials nixed that idea. They advised to wait.

No ballots arrived on Tuesday.

Still no ballots on Wednesday.

Finally, Thursday afternoon, the ballots arrived in Madison County, and people were allowed to vote.

In Madison County, there are 19 ballots for the November election. A total of 18 are for the various precincts, and one is for absentee voting.

This is the first-ever election in Iowa where both the local school board elections and the city government races are combined on one ballot.

That may have been part of the reason ballots could not be printed in a timely matter to coincide with state law.

Formerly, school board elections were held in September.

County revises urban renewal plan

County supervisors have amended and approved the latest iteration of an urban renewal plan.

Contained in that plan are plans for development and courthouse renovation.

The urban renewal plan was revised in 2018 to include plans for building a new ambulance facility and possibly replacing the elderly services building – or congregate meal site – for the county.

The plan must spell out all possible available options, such as potential site locations and the like.

Options for locating the ambulance garage are limited, whereas options for a new meal site building – with as many as three potential locations, not excluding the present site – are more varied.

For instance, at least two developers have offered land to the county on which to construct an elderly services building: one is north of the Farm Bureau building on the north side of town; another is on property owned by Linda Juckett, on a parcel where she plans an assisted living utility.

A third option included in the plan was for the county to potentially obtain the former Winterset Care Center South building, which has been vacant for over a year. That building, however, has already been sold. It was purchased by an adjacent property owner.

Funding for the projects, along with plans to work on the county courthouse again, will come from taxes on the Macksburg Wind Park. It is estimated the projects could cost about $9 million.

Marching Huskies earn top honors at Valleyfest

The Winterset Marching Huskies attended the annual Valleyfest competition on Saturday, Oct. 12, at Valley High School stadium in West Des Moines.

Among the 3-A schools competing, Winterset’s musicians earned a first place rating for their marching excellence on the field. The Marching Huskies also earned awards for Best Hornline and the Top Percussion.

The Huskies placed fifth overall out of 21 competing bands, and was the only 3-A school to do so.

See the Marching Huskies on Senior Night

This Friday. Oct. 18, the marching band will perform their award winning show, “From Russia With Love”, under the lights during Senior Night at the stadium as seniors of the band will be honored during the night’s activities.

They will also appear at the State Marching Band competition in Waukee, as well as the Mid-Iowa Band Championship in Ankeny on Saturday, Oct. 19. Admission is $7 for adults and $3 for students at the state competition, and $10 for adults and $5 for students at the Ankeny competition.

Abigail Blader 

The replica of the Cedar Bridge was re-dedicated at a ribbon cutting ceremony held at the bridge on the first evening of the Covered Bridge Festival, the 50th celebration of the local event. Mayor Jim Olson (far left) and Madison County Supervisor Phil Clifton (far right) held the red ribbon tight as Carol Bass, a member of the Covered Bridge Preservation Commission, made the ceremonial cut under the watchful eye of the Festival King and Queen, Rich Mills and Mayumi Ameku, and their dog Bella. Madison County Chamber of Commerce Director Heather Riley (pictured between Bass and Clifton) was joined by Chris Kramer, Director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs; Jacque Matsen, Communications Director for the Iowa Economic Development Authority; and State Representative Stan Gustafson for the momentous occasion, as was a large crowd of attendees.