February 27, 2024

Five more things to know from Tuesday’s board of supervisors meeting

1. Digitizing 100 years of birth records — The Jasper County Board of Supervisors approved a contract with Cott Systems to digitize more than 100 years of local birth records dating from 1880 to 1981.

According to Jasper County Recorder Denise Allan, this is part of the county’s four-year plan to digitize aging court records to preserve them from physical decay. They will be for office use only and will not be available for public access.

“I want to work on this over the next four years and get birth, marriage and death (records) all done,” Allan said. “These are records from 1880 through 1981. They’re really old books and need (to be) preserved for disaster purposes.”

Cott Systems will be digitizing an estimated 23,160 images in the process. The county’s contract with the company shows the total project and imaging costs $25,250.

2. Bridge materials — The supervisors approved a bid from Nebraska-based Oden Enterprises, Inc. on rebar, steel and other bridge building materials to rebuild two county bridges. The total price is $122,225 or $61,112 per bridge. County engineer Russ Strutt told the supervisors the bid is from the same company the county contracted for their last bridge materials buy, and the company is matching the previous cost.

3. Prairie City TIF renewal — The board approved an extension on Prairie City's collection period for Tax Increment Financing (TIF) dollars. According to Prairie City's City Manager Joe Bartello, the money will partially fund a new 21-home development on the town's southeast side.

The city is working with a local contractor who has formed an LLC with the landowner interested in developing the 21 parcels and requesting to use TIF funds for the infrastructure costs on the project.

Two other entities have to sign off on the extension before the funds will become available — the PCM Community School District which has already approved the measure and Des Moines Area Community College.

4. Tax reimbursement — The supervisors approved an $822 reimbursement in property taxes mistakenly paid on exempt parcels part of the Prairie City Cemetery over the course of two years.

5. Dispatcher hire — The supervisors approved the hire of Courtney Van Der Hart as a part-time dispatcher for the Jasper County Sheriff's Office at a pay rate of $18.10 per hour.