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Contract labor for the county

Union County Board of Supervisors accepts bid for contract work on ditches and grading agreement

The Union County Board of Supervisors accepted bids from Tom Shiflet to remove brush from the ditches along sections of Trout and Sprout avenues and complete a grading agreement on 250th Street. Shiflet’s quotes of $10,800 and $5,500 were significantly lower than the quotes of $58,000 and $10,500 from Giza Contracting.

Shiflet is a secondary roads employee, but Union County Engineer Zach Gunsolley assured the board that the work will be done when Shiflet is not on the county clock.

“Obviously, this is not going to be during working hours as an employee,” Gunsolley said. “It’d be off the clock on nights and weekends.”

Supervisor Dennis Brown said the board may face some “static” for hiring a secondary road worker for a contract job instead of an outside contractor. Supervisor Ron Riley said the board followed the applicable guidelines including advertising the job and including it on the weekly agenda.

“If we decide to do more contract labor, the bids would be the same as where they started out — everybody had the same opportunity.” Supervisor chair Rick Friday said.

Friday asked Gunsolley why he chose the 250th Street grading agreement for this project as opposed to some of the grading agreements that have been waiting longer.

Gunsolley said this project is an easier one than the others.

“It was shorter and simpler, a good one to get feet wet for a trial with a contractor,” he said.

The cost of these projects will be funded from secondary roads reserves, which has seen an increase due to Federal Emergency Management Agency reimbursements.

In other county business:

• a utility permit was approved for Southern Iowa Rural Water Association to bore under 165th Street north of Afton for an 8 inch water main.

• the board official accepted Union County Engineer Zach Gunsolley’s resignation.

• the supervisors voted to allow Union County Auditor and Commissioner of Elections to apply for a $15,400 grant from the Iowa Secretary of State to purchase a machine to aid in counting absentee ballots and to help add staff and allow for social distancing due to COVID-19 for the upcoming general election.. The county has already received 1,100 absentee ballot requests.

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