The Ottumwa Courier

December 25, 2013

Van Buren County to hire new engineer

Courier correspondent

---- — KEOSAUQUA — Van Buren County will have a new county engineer in July 2014, after engineer Dave Barrett told supervisors he had no plans to negotiate a new contract when the current one ends on July 1.

Barrett has been county engineer since July 1, 2009.

“I intend not to ask the supervisors to extend the contract after June 30, 2014,” Barrett said.

Supervisors voted to advertise for the position, with the application period through Feb. 10, 2014.

Chairman Mark Meek said he favored taking applications all though January. The first February meeting is Feb. 10, 2014. Supervisor Ted Nixon said he would like the opening to be posted on a website for county engineers.

Jon Finney suggested doing the same as last time, having Don Pool posting it, using several different medias, including advertising it in the newspaper.

In other discussion items,

• Supervisor Bob Waugh complimented Barrett on the county’s response to last weekend’s snowstorm.

“I had a lot of calls thanking the county, didn’t have one complaint,” Waugh said. “I was very pleased with the effort of the secondary road crew.”

Barrett said the county crew worked 12 hours on Sunday and had planned to work 12 more hours Monday.

• Supervisors approved the final payment voucher on the V64 asphalt paving project (Lebanon to Highway 2). The original contract was for $966,591.82. The final voucher brings the total cost to $1,033,191.01. It reflects higher than expected tonnage for rock, incentives, striping and other items. Supervisors did want Barrett to ask Pool why there was an increase for paint striping.

• The following requests for rural tax abatement were approved: 1) Mike Hodges, 18469 Rte J40, Keosauqua (E ½ NW SW Section 33-69-10, Van Buren Twp.), 2) Teddy W. & Dixie Daugherty, 28187 Laurel R., Mt. Sterling (NW of NE Section 1-67-10, Des Moines Twp.).

• The board approved the appointment of Mark Meek to the conservation board. He replaces Gary Adam, whose five-year term expired at the end of this year.

•The board also made appointments to the board of health, medical examiner and board of appraisers.

• A representative of Wellmark, via phone, discussed and answered questions on the Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare) fees assessed as a part of premiums on the January Wellmark billing to the county.