Supervisors approve multiple ARPA fund requests

The Montgomery County Board of Supervisors has approved American Rescue Plan Act funding for more key projects.
At the regular supervisors meeting May 9, the supervisors first met with Jon Spunaugle, speaking on behalf of the Montgomery County Conservation Board. Spunaugle said the first funding request was for the purchase of new Smartboards.
“This is for the education of the kids in the classrooms out there. The cost of the new Smartboards in the amount of $3,400,” Spunaugle said.
The second request was for $15,525 for the purchase of a new side-by side all terrain vehicle.
“Currently, conservation is using a 2003 four-wheeler, and the other is a UTV that was transferred from Montgomery County Secondary Roads after secondary roads got a new one. The new side-by-side will help with burns and all around trail work,” commented Spunaugle. “I got with Olson’s Outdoor Power in Atlantic and they cut us a really nice deal for the side-by-side, which includes a glass windshield and power steering.”
The final request was for $31,000. Spunaugle said that funding would be used for a much needed remodel of the Wolfe Nature Center.
“The renovations would include new drywall, painting, trim, and probably replacement of the windows. Also during that construction, naturalist Cassandra Alfstad wants to modify the turtle tank to make it more handicap-accessible and accessible to smaller children, which would mean lowering the tank and reconstructing it,” stated Spunaugle.
Spunaugle added, the interior of the building needed work, especially with the influx of kids at the center.
“Cassandra is doing a fantastic job with the education. She’s done a lot of extra things, and we have a lot of kids that come through that building. It needs some attention, so that we can keep it functional. We also may look at some new flooring. As far as the renovations, we’re planning to get as much as we possibly can out of that $31,000,” explained Spunaugle. “I don’t know when the building was remodeled in the past, but it hasn’t been remodeled for as long as I can remember.”
Bids are currently being sought, and Spunaugle said they were looking for a happy medium in the bids. There is currently no timeline for the renovations to be completed.
Supervisor Donna Robinson, who sits on the ARPA committee, advised the supervisors that since they started funding things through the program, Montgomery County Conservation has asked for very little.
“We’re trying to even things out a little and bring it to some closure. The Villisca kids come down to the center twice a year at least, so they are definitely getting plenty of foot traffic,” Robinson said.
Spunaugle said putting the funding into the county’s assets, such as the building, would be a good use for the funding.
Supervisor Mark Peterson also is a member of the Montgomery County Conservation Board. Peterson said Montgomery County Conservation is very active and quite deserving of the funding.
The supervisors approved the funding request of $3,400 for Smartboards, $15,525 for the new side-by-side ATV, and $31,000 for remodeling.
Maintenance supervisor Dan Wright was next to speak. Wright was seeking $84,500 in funding for new windows.
“We’re looking at replacing a total of 67 windows. In the attic, we’ll be replacing 25 windows and 42 windows on the other floors of the courthouse. A lot of these windows have nothing left of the frames, and there’s nothing holding the glass. I’m having glass fall on the outside of the building,” Wright said. “That will take care of almost all of the windows, except for maybe 12 or 15 vault windows, but they can probably be sealed, rather than replaced. If we do the 67 windows, we’ll have virtually everything replaced. Even with the window replacements we’ve done now, it’s made a dramatic difference in our heating and cooling.”
Wright’s second request was for $200,000 for tuckpointing work on the courthouse roof.
“I did get Andrew Tuckpointing from Clarinda. We definitely need a bunch of tuckpointing done on the brick up top, all the way around the building. Any work that they do should be good for the next 30 years,” advised Wright.
Wright was asked if the tuckpointing costs would be lower than the requested $200,000. Wright said it was possible.
“Once the funding is approved, they’ll order the materials and get done with the project by the end of summer.
County Auditor Jill Ozuna advised the supervisers there was a $22,000 invoice for the county’s IT upgrade, which may require less funding be allocated to the tuckpointing.
“We have scheduled these projects to the penny to use up the ARPA money. The supervisors may want to approve up to $200,000 for the tuckpointing so there’s some wiggle room for payment of the IT invoice,” advised Ozuna.
Supervisor Randy Cooper asked if the costs would be over $200,000. Wright said he’s waiting on a full quote.
“There’s a chance it may be less. They’re still putting numbers together. If we get it approved, we can get on the list. If we don’t get on the list now, he’ll be booked for the rest of the year and we’ll be waiting,” Wright commented.
The supervisors approved the request of $84,500 for replacement of the windows, and funding of up to $200,000 for the courthouse tuckpointing.

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Red Oak, IA 51566
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