At their weekly meeting Tuesday, the Cherokee County Board of Supervisors heard a report from County Engineer Dave Shanahan on three construction projects in the county.
Shanahan reported that there were four companies that bid on the BROS-CO(60)- 8J-18 project (the 216 Bridge in Afton Township), and the Supervisors approved awarding the contract for this project to Dixon Construction of Correctionville.
Six companies bid on the SBRFM-CO18(62)-5D-18 project (the Washta Bridge), and Supervisors approved the awarding of the contract for this project to Christensen Brothers Construction of Cherokee.
Shanahan said that he had met with representatives from Pingel Farms on Thursday, and they were agreeable to the county suggestions regarding their DNR Construction project on their farm in Section 3 of Afton Township. The Board then approved the project pending the submission of new drawings.
In other business, Lindsay Bressler gave an update on the Wellness Committee, and said that members of the Committee felt that they hadn't received much support from the Supervisors. Following much discussion, the Supervisors asked Bressler to report back to the Committee that they are supportive of the Committee's existence and proposed plans, but that they will not be able to provide them with any funds for their proposed projects.
Bressler suggested that perhaps in addition to that statement, the Supervisors could perhaps take part themselves in some of the Committee's projects like the Live Healthy Iowa Challenge or the 5k run/walk, as a further show of their support for the Wellness Committee.
Maintenance worker Dave Driggs requested e-mail access for his job, and the Supervisors approved this.
Human Resources Director Kristi Petersen said that six County employees are celebrating their birthdays in September. and the Supervisors each signed birthday cards for those employees.
Petersen also stated that County employee Barb Staver will be recognized for her 30 years as a County employee, and that two other employees will be marking their 15th year as County employees and six will be hitting the 10-year mark.
Petersen also clarified the work hours for some upcoming holidays, saying that several employees have requested this clarification. Board members agreed that the Courthouse would be closed all day on Monday, November 12 to observe Veteran's Day, which falls on Sunday this year.
It was also determined by the Supervisors that the Courthouse would be open on the morning of December 24 and close at noon, as agreed upon in the contract.
E-911 Director Dave Skou discussed a problem the county has had with the repeater for the Sheriff's Department commmunications system. Skou said that reception has been poor in many spots and is "getting worse." He said that there are some areas of the county which cannot be contacted clearly at times.
Skou said that the cost for a new tower would be prohibitive, but stated that he had another, much less expensive proposal for the Board to consider. He said that he had spoken with Alta Wireless, and they would let Cherokee County use 300 feet on an existing tower they have southwest of Aurelia for a rental fee of $2200/year. Shanahan said he, too, would like to use that tower for his Secondary Roads repeater, which would cost the County an additional $2200/year. Skou estimated that moving the equipment from its current location, on a 100 foot tower at the Secondary Roads Department, would cost about $2000, but said Alta Wireless would handle the move and set-up.
The Supervisors approved pursuing this offer, because it will be a cost-saving project and because all the radio experts who have been consulted said that such a set-up, with a repeater on a 300 foot tower, would definitely provide much better reception than is currently the case.
The Board agreed that they would try the 300 foot tower for one year and see if indeed they have a much stronger signal. If it does not provide a significant improvement in reception, they could always go back to using the old tower.