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County to receive two new veteran memorials

Published: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 11:14 a.m. CST • Updated: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 11:16 a.m. CST

An influx of local officials, a lengthy agenda and several discussions during the public comments portion made for a busy Tuesday for the Jasper County Board of Supervisors.

Jasper County Treasurer Doug Bishop received unanimous approval for his proposal for a Jasper County Veteran’s Memorial Fund and commission committee. Jasper County Economic Development Corporation Director Chaz Allen and Veteran’s Affairs Director Chris Chartier were present at the meeting to show support for the project.

“With the conclusion of the final Freedom Flight, there has been much discussion within our group about another veterans memorial,” Bishop said. “(With) the renewed interest in veterans in Jasper County … we have decided we are going to put together a commission, with the permission of the board.

“We are going to raise all the funds and do all of the planning,” Bishop continued. “A lot of folks said, ‘Are we ever going to do anything again?’ Well, we are going to get bricks (at the courthouse). For some reason or another, (veterans) didn’t get one (brick), myself included. I was young and fresh out of the service and didn’t think anything of it. I would love to have my name next to my dad’s out there.”

The original memorial was built in 1992. The board provided $15,000 in seed money and $96,000 was raised by the selling of bricks and private contributions.

The new memorial would be east of the current memorial on the south side of the courthouse. Ideally, Bishop expects 200 to 300 bricks to be used for the memorial but said it can expand to 400 before sales are cut off.

The bricks would be supplied by Mingo Products Company and Bishop reiterated that the group would find it’s own funding and cost to the county would be minimal. He also said the he spoke with Jasper County Auditor Dennis Parrott and Maintenance Director Adam Sparks, who informed him there was no maintenance, logistic or accessibility issues with the chosen sites.

In addition, Bishop said they would like to purchase a memorial rock, similar to the “Freedom Rock” in Greenfield. Sully has applied to become the official host of Jasper County’s Freedom Rock, but Bishop said, “Two rocks are better than one.”

The memorial rock would be on the east side of the square and Bishop said he envisions the rock being re-painted every two to three years with different scenes and with the work being done by various local artists.

The board approved the measure of both memorials and the creation of the committee.

“You put your heart and soul into this,” Board member Joe Brock said. “I appreciate you making it happen.”

Members of the committee represent veterans from different eras and Bob Thorson (World War II), Marv Morris (Korean), Keith Thorpe (Vietnam), Bishop (Desert Storm) and Chartier (Iraq and Afghanistan) would represent the different eras for the committee. Legion 111 Post Commander Wallace Schermerhorn and Jasper County Commission of Veteran’s Affairs Chair Marta Ford would act as liaisons and community outreach for the committee.

An item that wasn’t on the agenda was presented by Heartland Co-Op North Region Manager Craig Schmidt. He asked the board to consider approval for a new 30,000 gallon Anhydrous Amonia Mounded Bullet at their Prairie City location. The new fixture would increase the location’s storage capacity from 78,000 to 108,000.

Schmidt said that they had all the other necessary steps taken care of and just needed approval from the county.

Board Chair Dennis Stevenson told Schmidt the board would consider it, but needed a week to conduct their own research and to add it to the agenda properly for voting.

Jasper County Sheriff John Halferty received approval for Ian Winfield to receive officer training at the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy, at a cost of $23,991.88.

Halferty also had an additional measure for the board to consider.  He needed the board to approve a contract extension with Reliance Telephone of Grand Folks Incorporated.

RTGFI provides phone card services for inmates at the Jasper County Jail and the Sheriff’s Office receives 50 percent of online card purchases, but a significantly smaller cut of direct sales.

The board approved the three year contract extension. Halferty gave no specifics on his office’s new percentage, but said that since January 2006 they have generated $86,554.33 off of their cut.

In other business:

• Jasper County Human Resources Director Dennis Simon presented the board with a resolution to name the county’s temporary IT Director Celia Robertson, to the position permanently. The measure was approved and will go into effect on July 1.

• Jasper County Conservation Director Keri Van Zante made a request for an additional $37,186.98 for the Chichaqua Valley Bike Trail project. The measure was approved and the funds will be used to pay Brooklyn based Manatt’s Inc, to coat and seal 19,536 feet of the trail. Van Zante stressed that the measure was necessary to finish the project and board member Dennis Carpenter commented: “It’s got to be fixed.”

• Sparks asked for approval to purchase a new floor scrubber and accessories. His measure was approved and Capital Sanitary Supply of Des Moines won the contract with a low bid of $5,798.

• Jasper County Community Services Director/Central Point Coordinator Jody Eaton asked the board to approve a six-month contract with Ames-based Mary Greeley Medical Center. The board approved the request, and MGMC will provide substance abuse, mental health, mental retardation and or developmental disability services for Jasper County citizens.

• County Engineer Russ Stutt’s request for additional road pipes was approved. As expected, Contech Engineering Solutions of West Chester, Ohio won with the low bid of $115,117.40.

• Stutt also had his amendment to add a project to his department’s Five Year Road Program approved. “Image Avenue, which is a short stretch just west of Kellogg, has gotten to be in pretty bad shape.”  Stutt would like to resurface the road and attach it to County Road T22, which is the Kellogg exit off of Interstate 80. The project would cost an additional $2,220, which Stutt said would be covered by Farm to Market Funding and not local funds. Stutt said it wouldn’t be completed this year, but he would like to start planning it as soon as possible.

• Sugar Grove Vineyards and Gathering Place received approval for a liquor license.

• The Emerson Hough Chapter of Izaak Walton League received approval for a cigarette/tobacco permit.

In the public comments portion of the meeting, Jerry Woody, a farmer who works south of Reasnor, informed the board of drainage issues in the area. He and fellow farmer Clint Voss asked the board to look into the matter.

Noticeably present was the Cleverly family, who last week asked for the board to publicly support them in their campaign against the Iowa Department of Transportation.

IDOT originally held a public information meeting in Baxter on May 28 to discuss the proposed interchange alternatives of Iowa Highway 330 between U.S. Highway 65 and County Blacktop F17, which would affect three Cleverly family farms.

The board, Halfery, Stutt and Van Zante all chimed in on the matter.

“I think there has to be a better solution than spending that kind of money,” Stevenson said of the proposal.

Halferty reiterated his point from last week that the current changes have substantially reduced the number of accidents in the area and that the major changes proposed by IDOT were unnecessary.

Stevenson asked that the matter be placed on next week’s agenda so that the board may make an official comment.

Staff writer Ty Rushing may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 426, or at trushing@newtondailynews.com.

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