June 27, 2022

Jasper County will rely heavily on farm-to-market funds moving forward

Engineer’s office revises five-year program for FY23

The county engineer presented changes to the five-year program on June 7 during the Jasper County Board of Supervisors meeting.

Feedback from the Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Central Iowa Regional Transportation Planning Alliance (CIRTPA) has forced the Jasper County engineer to revise the FY23 five-year program, which was previously approved in April and has since altered ways in which some projects are funded.

Jasper County Engineer Michael Frietsch said the county’s highway bridge program funding “is healthy,” as is its farm-to-market funding stream. But where the county is not healthy and what has caused some of the changes in the five-year plan is the surface transportation program funding.

As a result of the funding issues and feedback received from state agencies, the county engineer has made the following revisions to the five-year program:

• Quicksilver Avenue and Poplar Avenue were separated from the first phase of the F-48 W HMA resurfacing project. Frietsch said they had been nested together, but IDOT recommended they be separated.

• Quicksilver and Poplar Avenues and F-48 W Phase 1 were also programmed as discrete projects for FY2024.

• Quicksilver and Poplar Avenues HMA resurfacing are now paid for with 100 percent farm-to-market funds. The Quicksilver Avenue resurfacing is estimated at $975,000, while the Poplar Avenue resurfacing is estimated at $600,000.

• F-48 W Phase 1 is primarily funded by farm-to-market funds. About $1.9 million of federal aid money will be available, and Frietsch said the county will have to match with probably $2.6 million in farm-to-market money.

• T-38 and S6G were separated from the F-48W Phase 2 HMA resurfacing project, which was another suggestion from the IDOT. They, too, were nested.

• T-38 HMA resurfacing is going to be fully funded by farm-to-market funds in FY2025. Meanwhile, S6G was completely removed from the program. Frietsch said it could show up again on the program in a couple of years.

• F-48 W Phase 2 is primarily funded by farm-to-market funds. Frietsch said the county may have about $500,000 to $600,000 in federal aid money to put towards the project, but the rest will be farm-to-market.

• Overall surface transportation program funding was reduced for the F-48 W project, but farm-to-market funding has increased.

• F-48 W Phase 3 has been programmed as a discrete project, and no revisions have been made at this time.

Frietsch said the software program used to create the plan was not functioning at the time of the original plan’s approval a few months ago. Because of this issue, some revisions were unable to be made to the five-year program prior to the April 12 hearing and were noted in the past meeting.

Those revisions include: the removal of the F01 and J11 bridge replacement projects from the accomplishment year, the moving of the F62 concrete overly and bridge O11 replacement to the accomplishment year and the letting date schedules of two other projects.

Newton News previously reported Frietsch was worried about potential financial struggles in the coming years with the loss of swap funds, which require no match. The county is now forced to find match funds, which is changing the way secondary roads will use its farm-to-market funds.

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

Christopher Braunschweig

Christopher Braunschweig

Christopher Braunschweig has a strong passion for community journalism and covers city council, school board, politics and general news in Newton, Iowa and Jasper County.