April 22, 2024

Jasper County purchases 68,000 tons of rock for FY25

More than $1.4M worth of rock to be used in northern townships

Jasper County Engineer Michael Frietsch hands out documents explaining the secondary roads department's new approach to gravel roads during a public meeting April 25 in Lynnville City Hall.

Jasper County secured more than $1.4 million worth of rock for granular roads in fiscal year 2025. The board of supervisors on March 26 approved the low bid from the Des Moines area-based Martin Marietta Materials, which will provide the county with more than 68,000 tons of rock, according to agenda documents.

Michael Frietsch, county engineer, estimated the rock bids would cost about $1,321,069, which put the low bid of $1,409,811 from Martin Marietta over estimate by about 6.7 percent. Frietsch said the Decorah-based Bruening Rock Products, Inc. submitted a bid of about $1,523,600.

“Overall, we’re seeing about a $3 per ton increase from last year for our rock prices for haul,” Frietsch said. “The prices for the material itself went up about $1 per ton at the beginning of this year, so the other $2 is probably hauling costs going up. So that’s kind of where we’re at right now.”

Despite the rock bids for fiscal year 2025 going over the engineer’s estimate, he said the county is on track for what secondary roads budgeted. Frietsch when accounting for this, reclamation and spot rock, it leaves the county with about a $250,000 cushion in the budget for next year.

The rock acquired through this bid process covers 10 townships in the northern part of Jasper County, which includes Hickory Grove, Mariposa, Malaka, Independence, Clear Creek, Poweshiek, Sherman, Newton, Kellogg and Rock Creek. The following is how any tons each township will receive:

• Hickory Grove: 4,263 tons for $83,128.50

• Mariposa: 2,823 tons for $54,799.20

• Malaka: 6,725 tons for $136,853.75

• Independence: 9,329 tons for $201,506.40

• Clear Creek: 6,776 tons for $144,328.80

• Poweshiek: 10,686 tons for $231,351.90

• Sherman: 7,734 tons for $165,894.30

• Newton: 8,106 tons for $161,309.40

• Kellogg: 7,246 tons for $142,383.90

• Rock Creek: 4,561 tons for $88,255.35

Frietsch said secondary roads plans to work in rock on stabilization routes at 250 tons per mile. The reclamation roads — which have 50 to 100 cars per day — will get 220 tons per mile. Resurfacing routes that have 30 to 50 vehicles per day get 200 tons per mile. The rest of the roads under 30 vehicles per day will get 50 tons per mile.

Supervisor Brandon Talsma asked when crews would be starting their rock work. Frietsch said it would begin on April 22, weather permitting.

“I would expect we’re going to probably start our stabilization process and our stabilization routes here before that,” Frietsch said during the board of supervisors meeting. “We’ll have all of the materials pretty soon here. The roads are getting favorable for that.”

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.