By Kim Brooks, Express Editor
At their Oct. 2 board meeting, the Jones County Supervisors officially appointed Derek Snead as Jones County Engineer, to replace Mike McClain upon his retirement in November. Snead’s new position will go into effect Nov. 5. Snead worked for the engineer’s office since 2008 prior to his appointment.
McClain has been the county engineer since 1996. In a letter to the Supervisors in April, McClain recommended the Board’s appointment of Snead, saying he “is extremely capable and will do an outstanding job.”
The Board reviewed the engineer’s contract and made a change to the severance period from six months to three months, to stay in line with all other county employee contracts.
The Board talked with the interviewed Snead multiple times since April when McClain announced his retirement.
“This will be a smooth transition for Jones County,” commented Supervisor Leo Cook.
Supervisor Keith Dirks said, “We’re lucky to have another engineer on staff to appoint.”
The Board did not have any reservations is appointing Snead. After presenting him with the employment contract, Snead said he would look it over and the Board would then approve the contract at their next meeting.
Snead currently does not reside in Jones County. The Board commented they would like Snead to eventually live in the county.
“We want to move here,” Snead said of him and his wife. “It’s something we’re strongly looking at.”
County Auditor Janine Sulzner informed the Supervisors that the Advancement Services of Jones County building project would be held back. Sulzner explained the architect’s plans have to go through the state fire marshal for review before bids can go out. At this time, there is no definite date for bid letting. The Board voted to delay the project.
“It’s a shame,” commented Dirks. “They wanted to get this project started early.”
Lucia Herman, county community services case management supervisor, visited with the Board in Deb Schultz’s absence. Herman informed the Board that they received letters from Iowa, Johnson, Delaware and Dubuque counties asking to be part of the regional mental health services. Currently, Jones, Benton and Linn counties have been discussing the formation of a mental health region.
“There are a lot of unknowns,” remarked Herman.
The Supervisors will conduct a conference call with Linn and Benton counties at their next meeting.
In other county business:
• Sulzner said her office has issued 1,500 absentee ballots since Thursday, Sept. 27. Sulzner said there have been some issues with the post office not post-marking absentee ballots. By law, any ballot post-marked after Election Day will not be counted. Sulzner said she has informed Secretary of State Matt Schultz with her concerns.
• McClain reported on an incident involving a privately-owned tractor and a county motor grader. There were no injuries. According to the accident report, the county is not at fault. McClain said the cost to repair the motor grader could be $35,000.
• After county bridge inspections, it was decided to close the bridge on Jordon Road over Jordan Creek until repairs can be made; and place a 10-ton weight limit on the bridge on 190th Avenue over Kitty Creek until those repairs can also be made.
The Supervisors also approved a change to Jones County bridge standards, stating the width for any new or completely reconstructed bridge must be 30 feet wide or greater. McClain explained this is to stay in line with FEMA design guidelines.
• County Attorney Phil Parsons discussed the implementation of agreements to document the county’s compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Parsons looked into how other counties are handling a human resource coordinator. The role has been split between the county engineer and county auditor.
After more research, Parsons informed the Board that the Title VI language could only apply to those contracts with the DOT or where DOT funding is connected.
“We should just concern ourselves with DOT matters at this time,” said Parsons.
Parsons said he felt the engineer’s office was also the best place to coordinate Title VI issues, as that department regularly communicates with the DOT.
The Board will take action on this at their next meeting.