Wapello County wants to withdraw from utility board

Wapello County's request to withdraw from a local utility services board has been denied.

The Regional Utility Service Systems -- or RUSS -- provides wastewater and sewer treatment services in ten counties around Southeast Iowa, including Wapello County.

The Wapello County Supervisors voted to end the county's participation in the group due to a lack of projects in the area and rising membership fees.

"We submitted a letter and the first letter we submitted was refused by the RUSS board, we submitted another letter more recently, it too was refused," Supervisor Chair Greg Kenning said. "I'm not sure where we stand."

The original agreement for the board meant a lifetime commitment, however, Davis County was able to withdraw from the board a few years ago for similar reasons.

"We have no projects, nor do we have projects on the horizon, and it doesn't look very good to our taxpayers to say, we have to give your money to someone else's sewer project," Kenning said.

Though the supervisors believe the board has an overall positive mission, the organization is funded through donations from the counties. Originally, dues per county were around $1,000, however, Kenning said they could rise to $8,000 or more in the near future, and the county is not able to meet those demands.