At Tuesday's weekly meeting of the Jasper County Board of Supervisors, the designation of official newspapers was among the top issues discussed. Ultimately, the board members selected three papers to publish legal notices for 2013.
Four publications had requested official newspaper status: Newton Daily News, Jasper County Tribune of Colfax, Hometown Press of Sully and Prairie City News. According to state law (see sidebar) only three publications could receive official newspaper status.
Using "bona fide yearly subscriber lists" for subscribers to each newspaper within Jasper County, Newton Daily News, Hometown Press and Jasper County Tribune were selected to receive legal notices for publication in 2013. The "bona fide" numbers for the four papers were as follows: Newton Daily News, 2,752; Hometown Press, 677; Jasper County Tribune, 584; and Prairie City News, 533.
Last year, Prairie City News had official newspaper status, but Jasper County Tribune did not. Tribune publisher Allyn Arthur filed a lawsuit in Jasper County District Court alleging Hometown Press did not provide accurate subscriber information. That matter remains tied up in court.
According to the Jasper County Auditor's Office, the Hometown Press published a nearly $5,600 in legal notices last year. The Jasper County Tribune published a little more than $7,600 worth. Once a decision is handed down by the court, the county will pay out the fees, plus accumulated interest as required by law.
The board also tabled the proposed transfer of land to the City of Monroe due to concerns from citizens who requested more information.
The property is located near an abandoned railroad, which the City of Monroe would develop into a multi-purpose path. One concerned citizen in attendance asked for some clarification, while another was unable to attend due to an injury.
Once a map of the parcel is produced, the board will take up the matter again.
The hiring of Chief Sheriff's Deputy Duane Rozendaal also was approved by the board. He will be paid $74,732.40 per year, effective immediately.
The board also approved the hiring of Grade III Skilled Laborer Matthew Borts for the Secondary Roads Department. He will be paid $20.01 per hour, effective Monday, Jan. 14.
The board agreed to meet Tuesday, Jan. 22, to discuss the authorization of a loan agreement, and the issuance of not exceeding $1,850,000 for refunding capital loan notes.
The board approved the transfer of $6,498.39 from the Colfax Interchange TIF to the 2011 (2912A) Debt fund.
The board heard from the County Engineer Russ Stutt and approved a Title VI Non-Discrimination policy. An approved policy is required to qualify for federal funding for transportation projects.
The board also approved the liquor license for the Westwood Municipal Golf Course in Newton.