The Ottumwa Courier

October 10, 2012

Wapello Co. Supervisors meeting: United Way seeks to renew Employee Giving Campaign

Board votes to award contract to Jensen for repairs on Chief Wapello statue

Courier Staff Writer

OTTUMWA — We would like you to help us let county employees help others.

The request from the United Way of Wapello County to the Wapello County Board of Supervisors wasn’t asking for money.

Desiree Johnson, executive director of the area United Way, told supervisors that there were more people in the county who would like to give to a good cause, if they knew how.

“We want to re-energize the Employee Giving Campaign,” she said Tuesday at the board of supervisors’ meeting.

Plenty of county employees may donate to charities, but last year, only four used the employee giving option.

Supervisors said they wouldn’t have a problem with a United Way representative calling department heads to schedule a meeting with workers, or a few minutes within a staff meeting, to talk about the United Way’s efforts.

“Maybe there could be a competition between departments,” Johnson suggested.

Last year, more than 6,000 residents of Wapello County were helped because of their neighbors donating to the United Way.

The supervisors voted to award a contract to Jensen Conservation Services to repair Chief Wapello.

Other restoration outfits had offered to look at the statue, but, said Supervisor Steve Siegel, wanted thousands of dollars just to come down and look.

Jensen had someone fly out at their own cost, after which they gave an estimate of $22,900. Supervisors checked Jensen’s credentials and background. The company did work on the historic Iowa Capital building. Representatives from that project told the supervisors they were pleased with the company’s work.

The contract states that Jensen will put a metal frame inside the sculpture, renew or repair parts that were stable and build new parts where necessary. The contract says they will age those new parts to look uniform with the rest of the chief. After professionally cleaning the sculpture, they would put a clear lacquer-like protective seal over the entire statue.

The price includes shipping and repairs; the county would be responsible for mounting the sculpture atop the courthouse.

Supervisor Jerry Parker said the insurance company is paying for the restoration.