AUSTIN EDITION - Sheriff asks for help in arresting meth suspects

By Tim Ruzek


Mower County's meth problem won't be going away, and police need continued help from rural residents in arresting those trying to produce the drug, officials told area township members on Thursday.

"It's here and it's going to stay," Sheriff Terese Amazi told the Mower County Township Association during the group's annual fall meeting in Elkton. The association consists of the county's 20 townships and meets once in the spring and fall.

Methamphetamines-related criminals are a big reason that the county jail currently is in "dire straits," Amazi said. The jail, which is supposed to hold 45 inmates, has 78 inmates now with another 15 boarded in Iowa, she said.


"And we are all paying for it at a local level," Amazi said.

Mower County Attorney Patrick Flanagan told the association's members that law enforcement officials still need their help. Rural residents especially need to watch for people trying to steal anhydrous ammonia, which is used to make meth.

Flanagan said his office is on a record pace for receiving forfeiture money from drug criminals. So far, the county attorney's office has confiscated around $55,000 this year, he said. The normal annual amount in previous years has been around $10,000, he said.

"But again, it comes down to assistance from you," Flanagan said. "Please keep calling."

In other business:

The association discussed the state's Cooperative Purchasing Venture Program. The association's board started a membership in the program July 1.

The Web-based program allows members of any governmental unit to purchase goods and services under contracts with the state.

"I think it has been very effective for the county," said Daryl Franklin, the county's environmental services director.


The program lets members get equipment or supplies at low prices and eliminates the bidding process with contractors, said Richard Epley, president of the township association.

The association decided Thursday to delay discussion on increasing the $250 township dues by $150 until its next meeting, in March. Epley said members then can decide whether the association should continue with the Venture program.

The Mower County Historical Society would like township residents to donate historical items to put permanently in the new Agricultural Museum that was completed in June at the fairgrounds, director Shirley DeYoung said.

A committee within the township association may be created to sort through the items and decide what would be worth displaying, Epley said.

What To Read Next
Get Local