Sulzner recaps busy year in Auditor’s Office

Board of Supervisors
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     As County Auditor Janine Sulzner prepares to leave her post with the county and Jones County Board of Supervisors, she provided several updates to the board at their Dec. 29 meeting regarding the end of the year.

     The county started its Capital Projects Fund in Fiscal Year 2017, funding it with $400,000 at the time from the Debt Service Levy. A balance of $125,233.50 remains today.

     Sulzner explained that roughly 71 percent of the funds used in Capital Projects were generated by a debt service property tax levy over the course of four years.

     Throughout the past four years, almost 54 percent of the funds went toward projects associated with the courthouse:

     • Lighting

     • Parking lot

     • Security

     • Sidewalks

     • Access and drainage

     • HVAC

     • Window and door replacement

     • Courthouse power washing

Other projects through the years included:

     • Wyoming Memorial Hall roof placement

     • JETS Facility in Monticello, JETS vehicles and equipment

     • Law enforcement safety

     • Secondary Roads maintenance shops in Monticello and Wyoming

     “We’ve finished those projects where funds were designated for FY 2020,” Sulzner said.

     Throughout her 30-year career with the county, Sulzner said a highlight for her was the window and door replacement project.

     “You should all be proud of the things you’ve accomplished,” praised Sulzner of the supervisors.

     Remaining commitments of the board of supervisors include JETS vans and associated graphics on the vehicles, and courthouse law repairs. Both projects come to about $33,431. There’s an estimated $91,792.50 available for projects that qualify under Capital Projects.

     Sulzner said one project she would like the county to accomplish is replacement of the courthouse roof, which was installed in 2000.

     “It had a 10-year warranty,” she said. “You might consider this the first thing to look toward.”

     The Auditor’s Office had an unusually busy year in 2020, not only with two big elections, but being the financial administrator for grants.

     “It was an extra challenging year for my office,” Sulzner commented.

     Over $106,528 was submitted and now pending approval to FEMA for COVID-19-related expenses.

     The county was approved for $262,193.87 from the Iowa Local Government Relief CARES Act.

     Twenty-five percent of that was used for public safety wages/benefits.

     Sulzner received about $33,000 in total for election costs related to COVID-19, both for the June primary and November general election. Those funds stemmed from grants from the Iowa Secretary of States/CARES Act and the Center for Civic Technology and Life.

     The county was awarded a CDBG grant in the amount of $44,000 for food distribution related to the pandemic. However, only $4,439.21 has been spent to date. The county is waiting on approval from the IDED (Iowa Economic Development Authority) regarding permission to repurpose the remaining funds from this grant to local food pantries.

     The Auditor’s Office also facilitated a $393,525 COAP (Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Program) Diversion Federal Grant, in connection with the ABBE Center and ASAC.

     A total of $839,253.93 in grants passed through Sulzner’s office this year.

     She thanked the board of supervisors for their collaboration, assistance and leadership throughout the course of her career with Jones County.

     “We always had a good-working relationship,” commented Sulzner.

     “You certainly made our job easier,” praised Supervisor Joe Oswald as the board presented Sulzner with a plaque commemorating her retirement and their appreciation for her years of service.

In other county business:

     Two bids were received for a plow truck tandem cab and chassis for Secondary Roads: GATR Truck Center for $117,900 and Truck Country for $131,035.

     The board approved the GATR bid, per the county engineer’s recommendation.

     The board awarded a bid and contract to B&J Hauling & Excavating for $762,803.36 for the Lead Mine Road project. B&J was the lowest bidder.

     “We anticipate that he’ll start very quickly,” said Engineer Derek Snead. “We’re very fortunate to have B&J in close proximity.”

     The board filed tax liens totaling $1,391.50 for delinquent sewer bills for the Fairview sanitary sewer system related to four properties.

     The board also filed tax liens totaling $2,253.60 for delinquent sewer bills for the Center Junction water/sanitary sewer systems related to seven properties.


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