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Wapello County Tries to Leave RUSS

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It could cost Lee County more money if another county is allowed to leave a regional organization.

Regional Utility Service Systems (RUSS) works with small, southeast Iowa communities that are trying to secure funding for sanitary sewer systems.

Wapello County wants to leave the Mount Pleasant-based organization.  This comes after Davis County was allowed to leave RUSS in 2010.

Executive Director Bruce Hudson says the nature of RUSS’s business operations requires membership levels to remain the same because it secures long-rang funding from federal sources.

He says if member counties are allowed to leave, it could harm the others because they would have to make up for the operational expenses.

Hudson says counties pay about $8,000/year for operational expenses at the current membership.

Some questions have recently surfaced about whether the vote to allow Davis County to leave RUSS was valid. 

Hudson says the bylaws appear to require the Boards of Supervisors for each county to vote on a request to leave RUSS before the RUSS board votes.  He says there was not a county-by-county vote regarding Davis County.

Hudson says how that issue is resolved could impact Wapello County’s effort to leave.  He says the county, at this point, is seeking arbitration over the matter.