The Ottumwa Courier

December 11, 2013

Board rescinds secondary roads employee hire

By RUSTY EBERT
Courier correspondent

---- — KEOSAUQUA — The Van Buren County Board of Supervisors Monday approved a motion to rescind the hiring of a secondary road department employee, after that employee declined to take the position.

The board rescinded the hiring of Tom Yochum in the secondary road department as authorized on November 25 due to his declining the offer for employment.

“I understood his reasons,” Barrett said. “They were economic.”

On the recommendation of the county engineer, James Schmitt, of Bonaparte, was appointed as an equipment operation 2 in the secondary road department, effective Dec. 30, at a salary per union contract. The vote was 2-1 with Waugh voting no.

Barrett had asked for two hires, as an employee is scheduled to have surgery next month.

Supervisor Mark Meek had asked Barrett how many employees have a CDL license. Barrett replied that he checked and all have CDL, but one employee has a Class B license.

“Hiring another one would get me a snowplow driver,” Barrett said.

A motion by Nixon to authorize the county engineer to hire two employees in the Van Buren County Secondary Road Department died for lack of second.

In other action:

• Barrett said that the Boley Bridge project on Yellow Avenue, south of Highway 16, was set for a Feb. 18, 2014, letting. “Everything has been completed and filed with the DOT for the letting,” said Barrett.

• Barrett said that JDM has completed footings and walls of the new secondary road expansion.

“I did get an estimate of $11,000 for floor heating. Since I received no negative reaction when checking with you (the supervisors), I told the contractor to go ahead with floor heating,” Barrett said.

Supervisor Ted Nixon said, “I think the cost savings over the next 20 to 50 years will pay for it.”

Waugh added, “I think it will do a better job of heating trucks than overhead heating.”

Barrett said the cement might have to be poured after the walls are up because of the cold weather.

• Barrett said a FEMA audit of the Eagle Drive project was done and FEMA “wants to disallow $120,000” it had paid for the project. The Van Buren Secondary Roads Department has appealed. "Basically, they paid us that and want it back,” he said. The project exceeded $300,000.

• The supervisors approved an application from Boyd Grocery for expanded privileges to sell additional wines, including Sunday sales. This would allow the store to sell out-of-state wines.

• A listing of homestead and military credits for the 2014-15 tax collectible year was approved.

• The following requests for rural tax abatement were approved: Alicia and Eric Bales, 15189 250th St., Milton (SWSW Section 13-68-11, Jackson Twp.); Bruce and Lolena Franklin, 18772 Route J40, Keosauqua (Parcel A in NWSE Section 33-69-10, Des Moines Twp).

• The board received two bids on a 1,000 gallon LP tank that is 66 percent filled and currently at the county care facility. They were: Jeremy Waugh, $2,050; and Jack Sharp, $509. The board accepted Waugh’s bid on a 2-0 vote with Supervisor Robert Waugh abstaining. 	

• County Engineer Dave Barrett presented the secondary roads report. As far as rock distribution is concerned, employees spread 2,971.98 tons of rock in November, with more than half — 1,703 — going to District No. 1 (Coffman). “We’re back to where we should be (on tonnage for the month),” Barrett said.

Barrett also discussed the Pittsburg Bridge pier repairs final billing, Yellow Ave. (Boley Bridge) replacement bids, shop expansion, water trail signs, Eagle Drive FEMA reimbursement, employee hiring, and transfer of jurisdiction of Highway 98.

• The DOT would like to meet with the supervisors concerning the transfer of Highway 98 to the county. Supervisor Ted Nixon said he would like to see the DOT do some improvements to the road, like an overlay, before the county would accept the transfer of jurisdiction.

• The chair was authorized to sign the final DOT payment on the Pittsburg Bridge pier repair project.

• Barrett presented information on the Water Trail Signage. The county supervisors in 2011 had agreed that the county should provide in-kind labor to install the updated water trail signs. The total cost of the labor in the grant was estimated to be $1,003.