Washington Evening Journal
http://washington-ia.villagesoup.com/p/965228

Neighbors Growing Together | Apr 18, 2014

Two projects remain for county’s three-year road improvement project

By Linda Wenger, The Journal | Feb 19, 2013
Supervisor Jack Seward Jr. (center) finishes his informal remarks at the end of Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors’ meeting. To the left is county auditor Dan Widmer, with Supervisor Bob Yoder on the right.

Two secondary roads projects, a 28E agreement and forming a region with six other counties for the Mental Health Intellectual Disability service system were the topics dealt with Tuesday morning by the Washington County Board of Supervisors.

County engineer Jacob Thorius recommended the board approve the low bid of two submitted for the final two road projects using bond funds. The projects are listed as L-P-163 and L-H-303 — one of the projects is on Underwood Avenue and the second on the Old White Way.

The low bid came in under the engineer’s estimate of $1,220,000. Cornerstone Excavating of Washington submitted the low bid of $1,207,982. The DeLong Construction bid was $1,223,000.

Thorius thinks the roadwork will begin this spring when weather conditions improve. However, the projects have to begin by June 17.

Supervisor Stan Stoops asked why the projects have to begin by June 17.

Thorius said the date ensures the projects will be completed by the end of the upcoming construction season. He also said that if construction begins on April 1, the contractor would have 80 working days to complete the projects.

In October 2010, the board of supervisors approved a three-year road improvement plan and bonded for $8 million to help fund the plan. The upcoming construction season will be the final year of the plan.

The board approved the bid unanimously.

Bobbi Wulf, Washington County MH/MR Division director and CPC administrator, spoke about a 28E agreement and the regionalization of mental health services in the state of Iowa

Wulf said the Southeast Iowa Contracting Consortium 28E agreement has been in existence for more than 10 years. Ten counties are involved in the consortium that provides a mutual advantage to contract for services to meet Washington County residents’ needs in the area of mental health, mental retardation and developmental disabilities..

Before the board unanimously adopted the resolution authorizing Washington County to participate in the consortium, Supervisor Jack Seward Jr. asked, “Just because it says ‘28E’ on it, I have to ask — it’s not an iron-clad thing we can’t get out of if we need to?”

“No,” Wulf answered.

Next Wulf talked to the supervisors about the Mental Health Disability Services regionalization process and a letter of intent to form a region with the counties of Des Moines, Henry, Keokuk, Lee, Louisa, Van Buren and Washington.

The letter of intent states that the counties “have come together to comply with (state of Iowa) legislation which mandated a regionalized Mental Health Intellectual Disability service system.”

Wulf said that Washington County Attorney Larry Brock approved the letter of intent. She also said that the counties would meet Feb. 25 at the Louisa County Sheriff Complex in Wapello to hear an overview of fiscal year 2014 MHDS budgets and service management, an overview of the letter of intent, a timeline for the formation of the region and an initial management plan.

Supervisors Ron Bennett, Steve Davis and Seward plan to attend the meeting.

The supervisors also adopted a resolution that establishes the Louisa County auditor as the clerk of the meeting and to attest to the signatures on the letter of intent.

Wulf then talked about some proposed legislation affecting the regionalization plan.

In other business, the board acknowledged the resignation of Michael Powers, who is a full-time Communications Center employee. He is accepting a communications job in Moline, Ill. A part-time dispatcher, Elley K. Neuzil, will take on the full-time position effective March 7.

Before adjourning, Seward and Bennett said they had attended a Farm Bureau meeting last week to discuss the county budget and zoning.

The supervisors announced they will hold a work session at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, concerning the county budget for fiscal year 2013-14.

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