Paving approved in time for Heartland
The Jefferson County Supervisors approved the use of a Revitalize Iowa Sound Economy Grant to pave Nutmeg Avenue during the county’s next construction season; this comes before Heartland Co-op’s anticipated opening in the fall of 2015.
“Heartland plans on being open for business in the fall of 2015,” Supervisor Lee Dimmitt said. “It’s only 1,000 feet so it shouldn’t take too terribly long to complete; it should be done by the time they take the fall harvest.
The Nutmeg Avenue project is estimated at $280,000. However, RISE will only cover 50 percent of project costs, leaving the county to foot the remainder of the bill.
“They will fund up to 50 percent depending on what the quote comes in at,” said Adam Plagge, executive director of Fairfield Economic Development Association. “It shouldn’t go over $280,000.”
The decision whether to approve the additional match of $38,000 to leverage more grant funds from the AHEAD Regional Housing Trust Fund, which was tabled two weeks ago, will be revisited next week.
Supervisor Dick Reed said that the issue would need a “little more work” before a decision could be made.
“It’s all well and good to do these things, but where is the money going to come from?” he said. “All these things are good, but we’ve still gotta get the billfold.”
Dimmitt said Wapello County would “pony up” the entire amount, but it would expect the majority of the near $160,000 that the $38,000 would leverage.
Supervisor Becky Schmitz said that programs like these are beneficial to the counties, as poverty rates are on the rise.
“It’s a choice between whether I fix my roof or feed my family,” Schmitz said. “It’s critical that we use the money that we can get from those programs.”
In other news, supervisors gave Jefferson County’s new emergency management, 911 coordinator a thumbs-up.
Reed said Joe Stever has “really been on top of things.”
Dimmitt echoed his comment. “We have met more with emergency management in the last two months than in the last two years,” he said.
Stever is responsible for identifying and bridging the gap between municipal services, such as the fire, police and sheriff’s department. He is also the liaison between those departments and the Iowa Department of Homeland Security.
“It’s been a lot going on the last two months, but it’s been enjoyable,” Stever said.
Stever has also been working closely with Fairfield Fire Chief Scott Vaughan in the development of an “OPS” training refresher course for fireman, which begins Friday.
Schmitz said the Department of Human Services Committee found that child abuse caseloads have taken a turn for the better since the implementation of new procedures involving how those cases are handled.
“The case loads have actually gone down,” Schmitz said. “There have been problems with people not being able to get jobs due to child abuse complaints.”
Schmitz said that a more proactive approach is being used to handle these cases once they have been investigated.
The Jefferson County Veteran’s Affairs Director Ray Chambers said the Cedar Rapids Veteran’s Mobile Center would be in Fairfield from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Aug. 27. They will be stationed in the Sears parking lot on Burlington Avenue.
Jefferson County Engineer Scott Cline said Cedar Creek Bridge is being dismantled and that “Honey Creek Bridge was poured on Friday.”
Cline along with county supervisors toured several locations that have had reports of damage.
“I received a call that 110th needed gravel,” Reed said. “We’ll check that out today.”