County offices relocate within Broadway Place

Board of Supervisors
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     There will be some changes made to the county offices housed at the Broad Place Annex.

     During the July 31 Jones County Supervisor meeting, delegates from the various offices met with the Board of Supervisors to hash out a plan that worked for all, utilizing the office space provided.

     Supervisor Wayne Manternach previously visited with the offices the week prior, and they also shared thoughts and comments via e-mail to the County Auditor.

     “I met with everyone and got their ideas and heard their concerns,” Manternach informed the board.

     After much discussion during the board meeting, it was decided that Amy Keltner with the Jones County Volunteer Center would relocate to the front office space previously occupied by JETS. JETS moved out and into their new facility on John Drive in Monticello. Keltner utilized two office rooms. One will now go to Public Health for additional storage space, and the other office will allow DHS to expand their services. Keltner will still have access to the conference room for VITA services.

     DHS, represented by Jane Drapeaux, requested two office rooms, if possible.

     Keltner said she would like to have the front offices, but her budget through United Way would not allow for increased rent.

     “I was told to lower my budget because fundraising is low at United Way,” explained Keltner. “So they’re trying to cut where they can.”

     The board offered Keltner the front offices at the same rent she was paying now, with the rest donated as in-kind.

     Keltner planned to relocate her office space as early as last Friday.

     “I don’t have a problem charging Amy the same rent with more space,” commented Manternach.

     He suggested if the Abbe Center could move downstairs from their current location that would entail the least amount of moving throughout the Broadway Place building. “It would meet the needs of everyone if Abbe can move downstairs,” he said. “This would disturb the building the least, and leave a couple of offices open.”

     Supervisor Joe Oswald said moving the offices around with the agreed upon configuration also negates the need for construction work.

     Paula Hart, Environmental Health, asked the board if it was possible to place her in an actual office versus hearing the private conversations coming from the WIC area.

     “Could there be a partial wall to block out some noise and still provide me with an office?” she asked. “I just ask that you think about it.”

     Manternach said the board would take a look at the configuration following the relocation of the offices. “We’ll see what can happen as far as construction,” he offered.

In other county business:

     • Land Use Administrator Michele Lubben brought two nuisance issues to the board’s attention: 22962 County Road E-34 and 23043 E-34.

     Lubben said the former Rainbow Supper Club/Jones County Roadhouse at 22962 requested one more week to remove the debris around the building, per a conversation with the owner, Rick Ellison.

     No action was required on that matter.

     For the property at 23043, Lubben said the owners, Patty Robinson and Tiffany Hunter, are repeat offenders. Lubben sent a notice to the owners three weeks ago and she said they were not receptive Lubben’s request to clean up their property.

     Supervisor Lloyd Eaken who lives on that road said nothing has changed on the property.

     The board directed Lubben to inform the owners that they need to attend the next board meeting to hear from the board specifically what needs to be done.

     “They need to appeal to us by next Tuesday or we’ll take them to court,” said Manternach.

     The owners have until Aug. 10 to clean up the property per the nuisance ordinance.

     • The board approved bids with Agvantage FS for fuel and LP for Secondary Roads, and with Mulgrew for oil.

     This is the first time the department sought bulk purchasing bids for various petroleum products.

     • The board approved waiving the county purchasing policy for the purchase of a new tandem plow truck for Secondary Roads from Gatr for $115,100. This is the same price the county received in February of this year, which was the last time a truck was purchased.

     County Engineer Derek Snead said with the tariff war, the price of steel is dramatically increasing, so it’s in their best interest is purchase sooner rather than later.

     “We have five Mack trucks in our inventory and the drivers are extremely happy with them,” Snead said. “They’re the right type of truck with what we have right now.”

     • County Auditor Janine Sulzner informed the board that Kristopher Lyons resigned as Magistrate Judge, effective Aug. 3. In addition, the new assistant county attorney, Tod Chelf, resigned to return to a job back in Des Moines County.

     Lyons has since announced his candidacy for County Attorney.

     • Chris Nelson with Shive-Hattery met with the board to discuss preliminary plans to improve drainage issues at the courthouse.

     Nelson recommended the ADA ramp on the west side of the courthouse needs to be reconfigured, and the entrance brought up to meet ADA code.

     “You can redo all of the steps on all sides (of the courthouse), but keep with the architectural integrity,” he offered.

     Per Nelson’s recommendation, the board will bid the projects in the fall, with construction to begin next spring.

     With the water issues on the generator pad outside the north entrance, Nelson said all of the options fall under the board’s $75,000 threshold.

     While the options involved cutting into and tearing out the new sidewalk and curb along the parking lot, the board asked Nelson to explore cutting and installing grates into the sidewalk to help the water drain out into the parking lot.



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