County previews five-year road program

Board of Supervisors
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     In preparation for the 2017 Five-Year Road Construction Program, County Engineer Derek Snead and the Jones County Supervisors discussed a timeframe for approving the program.

     Typically, Snead presented the timeline for road and bridge projects to the board and the public during a meeting in December, ahead of budget season. This year’s meeting was set for Tuesday, Dec. 19 in the evening.

     “I’m starting to put together the notice and template for the program,” advised Snead. “The program changes year to year.”

     Within the program, the fiscal years set out indicate the fiscal year in which the projects are proposed for accomplishment. For FY 2018, Snead said all of the projects that were previously outlined are either completed or soon-to-be completed. For FY 2019, he said the projects are progressing, with a late spring letting.

     Snead discussed other projects in the works as well:

     • There are two structures on Shaw Road that will be replaced by culverts.

     • The Wapsipinicon Trail project is a new project that will be inserted into the five-year program.

     • Asphalt overlay on County Road E-34.

     • County Road X-64, Snead said, if the oldest paved road in the county. This will be a large-scale project with grading, widening of the roadway, right-of-way purchases, and reconfiguring the alignment of the roadway.

     “This is the biggest project on our list,” said Snead.

     X-64 is a farm-to-market road, and Snead said they are also targeting safety funds for the project as well, similar to what was done on X-44 several years ago.

     • Replace Buffalo Road bridge, which is currently posted for a weight limit.

     “It’s on our high-priority list to replace,” recommended Snead.

     • Lead Mine Road, another large-scale road project.

     • Asphalt overlay on County Road E-28.

     In terms of funding for each road/bridge project, Assistant Engineer Todd Postel reminded everyone that the funding sources are not always a guarantee.

     “It might change within the next couple of years,” he warned.

In other county business:

     • Nine bids came in for the removal of the Shaw Road Bridge. The board approved the lowest bid, pending the engineer’s review, from Ricklefs Excavating in Anamosa for $36,808. The engineer’s estimate was $110,000. The highest bid came in at $376,457.56.

     • The board approved the purchase of land and a bid for a new JETS facility near Monticello. The purchase of the land was approved at $30,000 from Tom Yeoman on John Drive. Two bids came in for the project, with the lowest going to Superior Steel and Concrete from Monticello for $219,150.

     The county is working on this project with ECICOG, the transit authority. The county received a grant for $282,000, with a 20 percent match.

     “We should be within our budget,” commented Supervisor Ned Rohwedder.

     Supervisor Jon Zirkelbach said the contractor is poised to start yet this fall.

     • The board heard from county custodian Bill Feldmann regarding a request for a two-month leave of absence. While Feldmann works for the county, he answers to and works alongside County Auditor Janine Sulzner. Sulzner told the board that a request like this was too big to not bring to their attention.

     “Other departments don’t have to come to you to granted unpaid leave,” she said.

     Feldmann said he is working on options for the county to hire part-time work in his absence, namely to cover the courthouse in the morning. Another employee works during the afternoon hours.

     “I don’t have anyone in mind yet,” said Feldmann, who plans to leave during the months of February and March.

     While the board thanked Feldmann for the advance notice, they admitted the lack of a full-time custodian would affect all of the county offices/departments.


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