County gets new Conservation director

Posted September 20, 2013 at 1:45 pm

Board of Supervisors

By Kim Brooks, Express Editor

During the Jones County Board of Supervisors meeting on Sept. 10, new County Conservation Director Brad Moremann introduced himself to the Board. Moremann officially started on Sept. 9, replacing Larry Gullett.

Moremann said he has a background in seasonal wildlife. He earned his master’s degree from Missouri State and his undergrad from Iowa State University.

Moremann is an Eastern Iowa native; he is originally from Worthington. The past 10 years, he’s been living in Missouri.

The Board made record of the Conservation Board’s hiring of Moremann, a salary of $50,000 a year, and no housing benefits.

Derek Snead, county engineer, informed the Board about a grant opportunity Wes Gibbs, county weed commissioner, looked into for the purpose of purchasing new equipment for weed spraying throughout the county. Snead said they’re looking to getting a new bush hog, three-point sprayer and a fire resistant hose. He said there is grant money to cover 100 percent of the costs.

“We’ll have more efficient equipment that’s in much better shape,” commented Snead. “It’s nothing we absolutely need, but it makes the job easier.”

The Board approved the purchases through the grant.

Snead also said he’s applying for a grant from FEMA for reimbursement for flood repair work that has been completed to date. He said they had to put more rock on roadways and clean up damages countywide. The period in question stems from May 19-June 14 of this year.

“Jones County Secondary Roads experienced severe storms, straight-line winds and flooding,” Snead reported in the FEMA grant application. “Flooding and heavy rains caused severe washouts and loss of roadway materials intermittently on 15 sections of JCSRD roads. Approximately 1,735 tons of material was lost.”

The total cost on the application is for $31,809.96. Snead said their FEMA coordinator would determine what amount gets funded.

“They may not fund the full amount,” he warned the Board. “It was all money well spent, even if we have to pay for it.”

In other county business:

• The Board directed Sheriff Greg Graver to go ahead and seek cost estimates for the renovation and relocation work Graver proposed to the Board several weeks ago. Graver and his department are looking to relocating the dispatch center and gain more room for the Sheriff’s Department.

• The Board approved an abatement of property taxes on parcels of land acquired by the City of Monticello. The nine parcels are part of the city’s flood buy-out plan. The total abatement was $3,404.80.

County Auditor Janine Sulzner said with property taxes, 39 percent goes to the schools here in Monticello, 38 goes to the city and 17 percent goes to the county.

• Snead received bid from B&J Hauling & Excavating and Ricklefs Excavating, LTD. to clear trees along the Wapsipinicon River bank near Oxford Mills, rebuild the embankment lost in high water and stabilize the embankment with stone. The total bids came in at $40,780 from B&J Hauling and $51,941.25 from Rickflefs.

No action was taken on awarding a bid until Snead gets a response from FEMA to see how much they will cover toward the total cost.