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Local

Supervisors table project proposals

Bids for engineer’s office, maintenance temporarily put on hold

Jasper County Board of Supervisors Chairperson Brandon Talsma listens to department directors speak during a meeting Tuesday morning at the courthouse. Since Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds waived the penalties for property taxes and the county does not know how long that action will last, the supervisors felt it was necessary to proceed cautiously with expenditures. As a result, a number of projects and purchases were put on hold.
Jasper County Board of Supervisors Chairperson Brandon Talsma listens to department directors speak during a meeting Tuesday morning at the courthouse. Since Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds waived the penalties for property taxes and the county does not know how long that action will last, the supervisors felt it was necessary to proceed cautiously with expenditures. As a result, a number of projects and purchases were put on hold.

After closing public entry to the courthouse and declaring a state of emergency Tuesday morning, the Jasper County Board of Supervisors decided to table a number of staff projects and purchases to a later date — presumably when community spread of COVID-19 is contained and the county can continue collecting a steady stream of revenue.

Jasper County Engineer Russ Stutt presented supervisors with a resolution awarding contract for pavement markings maintenance. This is a project the engineer’s office schedules every two years. Stutt recommended supervisors accept the low bid of $156,257 from Iowa Plains Signing.

Supervisors asked if it would be possible for the county to wait another year. Stutt confirmed the paving strips could wait, they’ll just be “a little less reflective” during rainfalls or nighttime drives. If it was a project that had been delayed four or five years, the board said it would likely go ahead with the project.

Since Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds waived the penalties for property taxes and the county does not know how long that action will last, the supervisors felt it was necessary to proceed cautiously with expenditures, Jasper County Board of Supervisors Chairperson Brandon Talsma said.

“I think it might behoove us to hold off on this one,” Talsma said. “Once the whole COVID-19 thing is done and the rest of the tax revenue’s come in, we can re-approach at that point in time.”

Stutt said he would send Iowa Plains Signing a letter stating the county is rejecting all bids for now. If things change financially, the county will re-let it and send out a new bid packet. Cupples asked if there are any spots on the paved roads that need more attention than others or need to be addressed now.

“They’re pretty much all the same,” Stutt said, agreeing to keep supervisors updated if the status of those particular pavings change.

Supervisors voted 3-0 to table the bid.

Likewise, the bids presented by Jasper County Maintenance Director Adam Sparks were also unanimously tabled. Sparks offered quotes to replace the sidewalk near the Jasper County Community Center and to purchase a new work truck plow for the maintenance crew.

The sidewalk, Sparks said, runs along the east side of the community center. It has been in “not great shape” for quite some time. It is now getting to the point where, at any day, somebody could trip on a crack or on spot that has rotted out. The cost to fix it would be cheaper than the cost to pay a doctor bill, Sparks said.

Supervisors received three bids: a $4,400 quote from Jeff Seals Construction, $6,000 from Jensen Construction, $4,297 from Karl Peters and $7,475 from TK Concrete Inc. However, none would be approved. The board specified the project would be up for approval at a later date, as would the work truck plow.

Jasper County Supervisor Doug Cupples said, “I don’t think it would be a super huge deal if we did it, but at the same respect we’re taking precautions.”

Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or cbraunschweig@newtondailynews.com

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