December 09, 2021

Courthouse steam tunnel set to be filled

Work to begin Nov. 1

In an effort to prevent any further structural issues, the Jasper County Maintenance Department presented several bids to fill in a steam tunnel underneath the courthouse.

This steam tunnel has been experiencing structural issues for several years. These issues prompted maintenance to begin the bidding process to infill the tunnel several months ago.

“This project has been a long time coming,” maintenance director Adam Sparks said.

Sparks presented two different bids at Oct. 19 supervisors meeting. Both bids, one from Pro Seal Solutions out of Sioux City and the other from Minturn Inc. out of Brooklyn, were entered before the Oct. 11 deadline.

According to Sparks, the two bids are almost identical. Pro Seal’s total bid came to $94,650, with work beginning on Nov. 1 and being completed by Nov. 26. Minturn’s total bid came to $98,650, with work beginning on Nov. 1 and being completed by Dec. 31.

The only major difference between the two bids is that Pro Seal’s bid total is $4,000 less, and would be completed more than a month earlier.

While a lower price and shorter project time would make Pro Seal’s bid more attractive, the supervisors showed increased interest in Minturn’s bid due to the company completing an in-person inspection of the courthouse and tunnel.

“I’ve been talking to the head guy from Minturn and their bid seems to be much more thorough. They came and examined the whole site, so I think their bid is more accurate than Pro Seal’s,” Sparks said.

The supervisors were happy with both bids, with both falling within or below the projected cost and timeline.

“Both bids came in thousands of dollars lower than we expected,” supervisor Doug Cupples said.

The supervisors also acknowledged that due to both bids coming in below the estimate, choosing a bid which is slightly more expensive will not cause the project go over budget.

“I feel better going with the company who came out, looked at the location and who have been talking with Adam throughout the bidding process,” Jasper County Auditor Dennis Parrott said.

The supervisors agreed that Minturn’s bid was probably closer to the project’s actual cost.

They also pointed out that Minturn, which is located in Brooklyn, is located much closer than Pro Seal is. This closer location means if anything were to go wrong during the project, Minturn would be able to address the problem in person.

The supervisors voted unanimously to accept Minturn’s bid and to begin work as soon as possible.

Contact Abby Knipfel at 641-792-4687 ext.6531 or at

Abby Knipfel

Abby "Adler" Knipfel

Journalist at Newton Daily News. Currently covering Jasper County and writing passionate opinion pieces. They/Them