Shaw Road, trail projects await DNR answers

Board of Supervisors
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     A lack of DNR funding could have a negative impact on the remaining Shaw Road project and the completion of the Shaw Road Trail.

     County Engineer Derek Snead provided the Jones County Supervisors with an update during the March 5 board meeting.

     While the Engineer’s Office awaits proper permitting from the DNR to move forward with the project, Snead said right of way packages have been sent out to affected landowners. The hang-up here could be acquiring right of way from the DNR.

     “No one is in a position to make that decision,” Snead said of a lapse in DNR staff members. “They’re apprehensive to proceed with the right of way stuff because there are no funds delegated. There are no plans to proceed with the (trail) design.”

     So with no funding and no plans to extend the Shaw Road Trail, Snead said his office is still forging ahead with project plans.

     “The road needs replaced,” he said, first and foremost. “But we can’t proceed until we have the DNR’s blessing.”

     Aside from right of way, Snead said his office also needs permission from the DNR to cut down trees on DNR property. The deadline to do so is early April due to bat season.

     “We’re trying as best we can,” Snead said of seeking answers. “We continue to have discussions (with the DNR).”

     In terms of the trail, Snead said from the DNR’s standpoint, it seems to be a long-term plan versus a short-term, immediate plan.

     “It also makes it tough for them to build new infrastructure when they have existing structures that need attention and maintenance.”

In other county business:

     The board approved an interfund transfer resolution, transferring $50,000 from the General Basic Fund to the Capital Projects Fund for temporary cash flow purposes.

     • The board received three RFQs (requests for qualifications) from insurance firms interested in providing insurance consulting services for Jones County: True North, Insurance Associates, O’Connor & English Insurance, and Arthur Gallagher Insurance.

     The RFQs would cover the county’s property, casualty, liability, and workers’ compensation insurance programs.

     The board plans to make a final decision by March 19.

     • The board approved a general obligation loan in a not-to-exceed amount of $450,000 for the county’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget. The funds would be used for construction projects, repairs and improvements to county properties.

     • The board met with Public Health officials Jenna Lovaas and Jess Wiedenhoff concerning the need for additional space at the Broadway Place Annex. The space would be used for a new Public Health program that would provide incentives (points) for families who utilize local services.

     “We want to encourage them to do things as a family, exhibit healthy behaviors,” said Lovass.

     The Jones County Points Program is in the beginning stages right now. Lovaas said the space would be used as a mini store for families who build up points and can shop for home needs such as cribs, diapers, etc.

     The board approved Public Health’s request for additional space.

     • The board set a bid letting date of April 2 for the Courthouse Site Improvement Projects. The county, working with Shive-Hattery, divided the projects into three separate packages: sidewalk and ADA updates near the courthouse’s west entrance, waterproof rubber membrane under the generator on the north entrance, and re-set the granite stairs on the south entrance.

     The board will award bids on April 9 during their meeting. They established different late start dates depending on the specific project. There will be $200 a day in liquidated damages.



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