Commission partners with RC&D for Stone Bridge funds

Board of Supervisors
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     The topic of Stone Bridge outside Monticello is not going away.

     During the Dec. 19 Jones County Supervisors meeting, Rose Rohr with the Historic Preservation Commission brought up several issues she wanted the county to be aware of.

     The supervisors did approve the Commission’s request to hire Limestone Bluffs RC&D as a grant and funding administrator, to assist the Stone Bridge project. Rohr said she worked with RC&D in the past concerning saving the historic Hale Bridge, which was relocated to Wapsipinicon State Park.

     “They’re a valuable service,” she said.

     The board asked whether RC&D would charge the Commission for their services. Rohr said it would depend on the time spent and the grants.

     “They know we really don’t have a lot of money,” she said.

     She said RC&D would be tasked with administering the funds for the project “so it’s all in one place, and be the keeper of all the paperwork. This will immensely help us.” Rohr said when people donate toward the cause, they could do directly to RC&D, and the funds would be earmarked for Stone Bridge.

     “RC&D is a certified 501(c)(3),” she said.

     With the Stone Bridge Society (Foundation) holding other funds associated with the project, the supervisors questioned whether past bills had been paid of engineering and concrete work that was performed before winter. Rohr said Rogers Concrete was paid, but she was unsure about the engineer.

     “I’ll follow up after Christmas,” she said.

     Supervisor Jon Zirkelbach asked whether the Commission and the Society were still working together?

     “If the Society raises money, that’s perfectly fine,” Rohr said. “But they have to work with RC&D. Any money raised would have to go to directly to RC&D.”

     Rohr shared another issue concerning Stone Bridge, a request from the Society to place a tarp and sandbags on the bridge to help divert water off the bridge. While the Commission did approve the request, Rohr said it was done so based on the county’s ultimate decision.

     John Bader was present at the meeting to offer his thoughts on the matter. “If you cover the bridge at this point, it will hurt more than help it,” he said. “Everything will be under plastic, and the bridge needs to breathe.” Bader said he couldn’t agree with the request.

     “It was brought to us, and I brought it here for consideration,” explained Rohr. “Some people can’t take ‘no’ for an answer.”

     The supervisors felt a decision like this required the county engineer’s opinion. They also encouraged Rohr to contact Snead on matters like this.

     “I don’t think a tarp will matter,” Derek Snead said. “Moisture will get in the bridge one way or another. I don’t think it’ll hurt anything.”

     Snead asked what the Commission’s ultimate goal is with Stone Bridge. “What’s their purpose?” he asked. “To preserve it for another five or 10 years? They need to decide an end result versus throwing money at it to make short-term repairs.”

In other county business:

     • Snead shared with the board that the majority of the Shaw Road Bridge has been taken out.

     “It came down better than expected,” he said.

     Engineer Assistant Todd Postel commented that the piers were rotted.

     • The board approved designating an official title and wage increase to Doug Hilton due to his leadership position with court transport.

     Sheriff Greg Graver praised Hilton’s efforts in taking initiative and always being available when needed for court transports.

     The supervisors approved a wage of $18.46 an hour (a $1 increase), for the Court Security and Transport Coordinator position.

     “He’s a big asset to us,” praised Chief Deputy Jeff Swisher.

     • Supervisor Ned Rohwedder shared a synopsis from a recent Courthouse Security meeting that was held ahead of the supervisor meeting. He said the committee noted some improvements that could be made to the County Engineer’s Office and Shop and the Broadway Place Annex. Panic buttons and additional security cameras were already installed throughout the courthouse.

     With no funding this current fiscal year for courthouse security measures, the board will review the list and discuss it further at their next board meeting.


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