Jefferson County supervisors discuss work on Peach Avenue bridge

JEFFERSON COUNTY – Concrete work has begun on the Peach Avenue bridge, according to Assistant Jefferson County Engineer Brent LaPoint.

LaPoint reported to the Jefferson County Board of Supervisors on Oct. 7 the contractor has poured concrete for one abutment, the other was scheduled for Oct. 8 on the Peach Avenue bridge.

Then on Oct. 15, the 110-foot beams will be negotiated around the corner east of the bridge construction on Peach Avenue and will be set into place. The contractor aims to pour the deck by Oct. 30. LaPoint advised that the Iowa Department of Transportation annual average daily traffic count numbers have been posted for all county roads. Supervisor Dee Sandquist said the traffic counts serve the supervisors with actual data when they are asked to pave certain areas of roadway within the county. Over time the board is able to ascertain whether traffic patterns have changed to warrant new construction, such as those they are currently monitoring in the heavily traveled areas of Nutmeg Avenue, Juniper Avenue and 110th Street near Pekin.

Sandquist reported that since the 1988 inception of the Iowa Work Force Development Board, Title 1 current needs and Title 3 formerly known as Job Corp, in Iowa the money was going directly from the state to the service providers. The 15 regions were based on the regions for community colleges, which became six regions, and now the federal government has recommended two regions in Iowa to cut administration costs.

This places Jefferson County with Council Bluffs in a long regional group of 25 counties. The federal government wants the chief elected officials also known as county supervisors to be responsible for the finances. Assistant County Attorney Pat McAvan said the chief elected official and the fiscal agent are not necessarily in the same counties.

Sandquist said now is the time to understand the sizable changes which are happening to understand how to get services in this area. The first issue will be to get twenty five supervisors together in one place in person or online. The next issue will be what is called the Work Force Development Board. In the revised process, 51 percent of the board must be the businesses owners and then supervisors and community college employees. Two members are to be small business employees. The businesses will make the decisions about how the finances flow out.

There will also be education and training representatives. In this next year, this board will go through the process of setting up all of these bylaws to bring these corrections into Iowa. Ten states have appealed the change from six regions to two so this part may take some time. The good news is there will be more money to help people find training and jobs.

Mickey Kerr and Stan Plum were appointed to the County Historical Preservation Committee by the board.