Lead Mine Rd. appraisals come into question

Board of Supervisors
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     The Jones County Engineer’s Office has been working hard to acquire the necessary right of way to move forward with the Lead Mine Road grading project, planned for Fiscal Year 2021.

     During the Feb. 11 Jones County Board of Supervisors meeting, Assistant Engineer Todd Postel brought the board up to speed on the project thus far concerning land acquisitions.

     With 10 stakeholders associated with the project, Postel said five landowners have signed right of way agreements/contracts with the county. Some have gone as far as to donate their land toward the project, which is a first.

     Postel said over two-thirds of the necessary right of way has been acquired. However, in negotiating with one of the landowners, they are asking to be reimbursed for more than the appraised valued of the land.

     Each time the county begins a road project such as this, the Engineer’s Office hires an appraiser to go out and assess the value of the needed right of way. In this case, Postel said an additional appraiser also reviewed the work as well.

     “We got two opinions on land values,” he said.

     In this particular case, the landowner is asking for a 15 percent increase in land value and a 50 percent increase in damages.

     Now that the Engineer’s Office is halfway through the negotiating process, Postel recommends they do not offer the amount requested.

     “Everything has been right on with the appraiser so far,” he said. “We have not deviated from the dollar amounts.”

     The right of way informational packets were sent out to stakeholders more than 90 days ago.

     “We’ve been talking about this project over about two years,” Postel reminded the board. “We need to press forward.”

     “If you deviate, it’s not fair to everyone else who’s already signed (right of way agreements),” commented Supervisor Ned Rohwedder.

     Supervisor Wayne Manternach added, “It’s a little too late to change since you have over half (of the agreements).”

     “It puts us in a compromising position,” said Postel.

In other county business:

     • County Auditor Janine Sulzner informed the board that the county has received two claims from county residents pertaining to damage to their vehicles due to gravel road conditions. One claim that was submitted was for $90, another for $2,700. Sulzner said the county’s insurance company did pay the $90 claim.

     “We need an explanation from our insurance on the larger claim,” required Supervisor Joe Oswald.

     • The county received six bids to remove a shed on the county farm in Wayne Township. The bids ranged from $600 to $16,875.

     The board awarded the project to the lowest bidder, SC Oberbreckling for $600.

     • The board received four bids from Jones County banks to process a short-term general obligation loan to transaction for the county, not to exceed $450,000.

     The board approved the bid from Citizens Bank in Anamosa at 1.69 percent interest and no fee.

     • The board approved an additional 30-day extension for a nuisance located at 8346 Slide Rock Rd. in Anamosa, owned by Paul and Roxanne Rundle.

     “They’ve made a good-faith effort,” noted Rohwedder of the cleanup process. “We compliment them on what they’ve got done, and encourage it to continue.”

     • The board approved modifying Jones County’s farm-to-market road system, to include 1.7 miles of 15th Street, west of Mechanicsville.

     “It’ll give us a small amount of additional funding,” County Engineer Derek Snead said.

     • Two bids came in for a new motor grader for Secondary Roads: Altorfer with a base bid of $332,046 and a $60,000 trade-in; and Martin Equipment with a base bid of $342,500 ($331,500 alternate) and a trade-in of $62,500.

     The board tabled awarding a bid until the county engineer had time to review the bids.


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