County awaits Monticello’s decision on Amber Rd. project

Posted January 22, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Board of Supervisors

By Kim Brooks, Express Editor

County Engineer Derek Snead informed the Jones County Supervisors that his office has not made plans to change the Amber Road/X-44 project, pending a revote by the Monticello City Council to reconsider the joint project.

At the Jan. 14 Board meeting, Snead said he was contacted by Monticello City Administrator Doug Herman, and the Council will consider a revote at their Jan. 20 meeting concerning the 28E agreement with Secondary Roads.

“The final plans are due soon, though,” Snead prefaced. “We designed the plans for both the county and city portions of the road.”

While the final plans are due by this Tuesday, Jan. 21, Snead said his office could still submit the plans within this week to meet the deadline.

At the Council’s Jan. 6 meeting, the 28E agreement was voted down.

“We haven’t taken Monticello out of the plans yet,” Snead said. “This is really the right time and best cost we can get to do a project like this. As a whole, we’re saving the county and Monticello some money. It’s a large safety project.”

The county received safety funds to be used toward this road project.

In other county business:

The Board approved the annual Certified Local Government report presented by Rose Rohr with the Historic Preservation Commission. Rohr explained the report outlines the projects they’ve done throughout the year. The Commission holds 10 meetings a year. Right now, they are awaiting the nomination by the state to name Scotch Grove as an official historic village. The state review process for Wapsipinicon State Park begins this summer.

County Auditor Janine Sulzner announced that Jones County was awarded fiscal agent of the Mental Health/Disability Services of the East Central Region. Other counties who submitted bids included Johnson and Delaware.

This region includes: Bremer, Buchanan, Delaware, Dubuque, Jones, Linn, Benton, Iowa and Johnson counties.

Sulzner said the additional revenue from taking on this role could mean an extra $35,000 to $50,000 in revenue for Jones County.

“That’s plenty to look at hiring a part-time person to help,” Sulzner commented. A new hire could be added to the Auditor’s Office.

“This is a big asset to Jones County,” commented Supervisor Ned Rohwedder. “I like our county having this presence.”

This bid is for a one-year contract.

Deb Schultz, CPC with County Community Services, informed the Board that the mental health region is working on putting together an advisory board. If anyone within Jones County is interested, contact Schultz at 319-462-4457. The board would include those who utilize mental health services, a provider or a concerned citizen.

She also said the region is looking to put together letterhead and a logo for identification purposes.

A public hearing to review violations of the Jones County Nuisance Ordinance on property known as the “Langworthy Locker” was held, with no public comment. Land Use Administrator Michele Lubben said she informed the owners of the property that a hearing would be held.

This issue came up in 2009, with no resolution. The Board of Supervisors would like to see some action on this violation.

“We need to proceed with this,” commented Supervisor Keith Dirks. “It’s been a nuisance for a long time.”

Dirks proposed that the county seek bids to have the property demolished and have the costs assessed to the owner’s property taxes.

“It’s a health hazard,” said Supervisor Wayne Manternach. “We need to enforce our ordinance.

The Board approved to have Lubben seek costs for possible asbestos testing and/or removal and demolition costs.

Jones County Tourism Director Bob Hatcher met with the Board to present the 2014 budget. Hatcher asked the Board to consider a funding request for fiscal year 2015 of $15,500. This is $500 more than the previous year’s request.

Tracey Achenbach with Eastern Iowa Housing Trust Fund met with the Board to request for fiscal year 2015 of $1,069. This amount is reflective on population.

This fund encompasses four counties: Benton, Iowa, Jones and Washington. Representing Jones County on the board of directors is Supervisor Wayne Manternach and Pat Callahan, Callahan Municipal Consultants, LLC.