May 15, 2021

Elections building to be tuckpointed

County hires contractor that completed similar work for renovated former garage

To keep the estimated $500,000 worth of equipment stored inside the county’s elections building, 213 S. Second Ave. W., safe from the outside elements, maintenance asked the board of supervisors on Tuesday, April 20 to approve a new tuckpointing project.

Jasper County Maintenance Director Adam Sparks told supervisors during their meeting that the building “is pretty sound” but it does have issues that haven’t been addressed for years, like damaged and missing bricks and failing mortar joints. Maintenance has put some money into the building a few years back.

“But at this point our major issue is tuckpointing,” Sparks said. “We’ve got bats getting into the building up high because we have mortar joints that are out.”

Four companies reviewed the site, but only three provided bids. Pajic Tuckpointing LLC, of Waterloo, provided the lowest bid of $14,900. The company, operated by two brothers agreed to power wash the building, tuckpoint damaged mortar joints, seal all movement cracks and replace 70 damaged bricks.

“The reason I got this quote, guys, is they were the ones that — when we sold the other brick building — they tuckpointed that building for the restaurant,” Sparks said of Viet-Thai Taste, which was renovated from an old county garage building by development group Goldfinch Growth.

Sparks said he also got a quote from the company that tuckpointed the Jasper County Courthouse, TNT Tuckpointing & Building Restoration; and then he contacted Iowa Tuckpointing, of Carlisle, for a third bid. The fourth bidder, Karr Tuckpointing, did not want to provide an estimate.

Jasper County Supervisor Brandon Talsma noticed there was “quite a price discrepancy” between the three bidders. Sparks said after working with TNT the county knows the company produce’s quality work, but they’re “not the most cheap” company nor the most expensive.

Sparks is familiar with Pajic’s work with the former county garage building. Since the company is comprised of the two brothers, Sparks deduced their overhead is very minimal and do not have to pay several other workers to get the job done.

One of the differences he saw between Pajic and TNT is that the latter was able to color match the mortar. Sparks commended TNT’s color matching for the courthouse, saying it is difficult to discern which are new or old joints.

“Every company bid on the same areas of concern,” Sparks said. “It’s just the difference of every company’s work.”

Doug Cupples, chair of the Jasper County Board of Supervisors, told Sparks he had visited the elections building prior to the meeting and could see how some joints weren’t color matched. But Cupples was still interested in Pajic’s significantly lower bid and asked the contractors try to color match if possible.

“(Pajic) did do a good job,” Sparks said. “Everything is sealed. Everything is patched back. At the end of the day it’s just how we want it to look. Do we want it to really blend in to the old mortar joints? Or do we just want this building to be sound, not leak and serve the purpose? That’s where it’s at.”

Regardless of which bid the supervisors want, Sparks assured the board the building will not leak and will be structurally sound.

Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or cbraunschweig@newtondailynews.com

Christopher Braunschweig

Reporter with a strong penchant for community journalism.