More than 600 new signs were purchased by Jasper County.
On Tuesday, Aug. 25, the Jasper County Board of Supervisors voted in favor of the $18,433 low bid from Newman Signs Inc., of Jamestown, N.D. The two remaining bids — about $21,837 and $22,227 — were submitted by Midwest Patch/Hi Viz Safety and Iowa Prison Industries, respectively.
Randy Freese, maintenance superintendent of the county’s engineering department, said the private company has worked with the county in the past.
“It just kicks butt every time,” Freese said. “I don’t understand it but they do. And it’s good quality.”
According to agenda documents, the county purchased exactly 669 signs from Newman Signs. Brandon Talsma, chair of the Jasper County Board of Supervisors, asked if these signs were to replace the ones damaged from the Aug. 10 derecho. Freese said no; instead, they will replace outdated signs.
However, Freese did say the wind storm mainly caused damage to sign posts rather than the signs themselves. Some of the posts, he said, could be salvaged by having the bent or damaged ends cut off.
In July, the board of supervisors approved a Sign Replacement Program for Cities & Counties agreement with the Iowa Department of Transportation. Doing so recognizes “the importance of maintaining the regulatory, warning and school area signs on the road system.”
It also allowed the county to utilize $10,000 grant to purchase these signs.
Jasper County Engineer Russ Stutt said last month his department reviewed the region’s signs to identify those in need of replacement under the program’s rules. Per the agreement, IDOT will reimburse the county up to $10,000 for replacing a number of existing road signage.
The engineer’s office identified more than 250 signs need replaced. However, Stutt told supervisors that his office may have counted more than what was originally listed on the agenda in July. He estimated more than 300 signs should be replaced for reflectivity issues.
In other action Tuesday, the board of supervisors:
• Waived the second and third reading of a public hearing reducing the number members on the county’s zoning commission from seven people to five people. Talsma told Newton News that, per Iowa law, the county’s zoning commission members need to be rural residents. The commission had difficulty filling some empty positions, hence the reduced member quota. The supervisors waived the final readings since none had received any public comment or concern.
Contact Christopher Braunschweig at
641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or