Supervisors award bid for farmland
Jefferson County supervisors opened four bids today for a three-year lease of 106 acres of county-owned farmland and awarded the lease to the highest bid, an annual $36,290, or $342.36 per acre per year from J.A. Farm Enterprises.
The other bids were $30,740, $26,182 and $24,011.
The three-year lease ending Feb. 1 had been an annual $19,400 since 2011.
“Steve Greiner had the latest contract and did a very good job and we’re grateful to him,” said supervisor Dick Reed. “As a representative of the county tax payers, I feel we have to take the highest bid.”
Greiner and other bidders, except the winning bidder, attended the board of supervisors meeting today.
“After my contract ends, I suggest taking a soil test,” Greiner said. “It would benefit the county to have the land built up and maintained. I added 3 tons of lime a few years ago.
“I recommend adding something in the contract about the pH level in the soil being kept the same or higher at the end of a contract.”
Other bidders agreed, as did the supervisors.
Reed phoned the top bidder, who said he would come to the county auditor’s office later today to sign the contract.
Supervisors set a public hearing for 9:30 a.m. Oct. 14, during one of their regular Monday meetings, about the proposed sale of real property at 117 W. Broadway Ave., the former offices of the county attorney.
The board approved selling the property on a 3-0 vote.
The board also approved transferring $28,632 from the general fund to the Secondary Roads Department to pay an insurance premium for the department.
Supervisor Becky Schmitz reported the Fairfield Iowa Convention and Visitors Bureau grant program is looking to expand its pool of grant applications.
“The annual grants have been awarded to similar-type applicants each year,” she said. “The board is looking to solicit and encourage other types of organizations to apply for grants. It would like to award grant funds to a variety of types of applicants. The grant application process is pretty simple.”
The grant program exists to assist organizations in “providing excellence in cultural, civic and educational programs, strengthening the quality of the event experience, thereby increasing the number of visitors attracted to the area and further enhancing Fairfield’s reputation for providing engaging cultural experiences,” according to the grant guidelines. “Applicants may be organizations, non-profits or event promoters seeking to produce and promote a well-defined tourism-oriented festival and event in Fairfield and Jefferson County.”
The maximum amount for a grant per event is $1,000.
Supervisor chairman Lee Dimmitt said Southern Iowa Economic Development Association has purchased buildings for its administrative office and workforce development center in Ottumwa, saving an annual $145,000 in rent.
“SEIDA paid cash for the buildings and renovation out of its reserves, spending about half its reserve of $1.4 to $1.5 million,” said Dimmitt. “SEIDA is funded in part from fees associated with its substance abuse programs. Sorry to say, those are money-makers.”
County Engineer Scott Cline said the bridge decking project on Brookville Road could be completed by next week.
“The deck is done, the bridge approaches have been paved, but there is ongoing work, the pier piling are being encased and guardrails need to be installed at the corners of the bridge,” he said.