News

Senior center loses funding from Milestones

The Jefferson County Supervisors met Monday to hear updates from representatives of the Fairfield Senior Citizen Center and from the county engineer about roads and bridges. A number of resolutions were also passed.

Senior center

Fairfield city councilman Tom Thompson and area businessman Francis Horn addressed the board in their capacity as members of the Fairfield Senior Citizen Center’s board. The center has lost funding from Milestones Area Agency on Aging, an Area 18 agency which provided funding for senior meals at the center.

“It’s costing us roughly $20,000 a year net to keep that open and we’ve only got about another year left before we aren’t going to be able to provide that service anymore,” Thompson said. “We can’t afford to keep it open and spend $20,000 a year.”

The city of Fairfield and Jefferson County both contribute funds to Milestone’s multi-county efforts. Supervisor Lee Dimmitt recently attended a meeting with the Milestone board where he learned that Scott County was no longer contributing funds to Milestones.

“We need to take a long hard look at it because we contributed a little over $9,000 to them last year and I think that money would do well to stay here,” Dimmitt said. “I know Scott County isn’t paying it and they’re not feeling any ill effects, and I know Van Buren County is looking into doing the same thing.”

Even if the county’s funding were pulled out of Milestones, which no longer seems to be providing a benefit, available funds would be used to cover the static costs of maintaining the building.

The venue has a main floor area that can be rented for one-off events such as family reunions. There is also a fully renovated, but currently vacant 1,200-square-foot basement of the facility that can be rented by the month. According to Horn, it’s currently listed with Miller Realty.

“Any funding we can get we would appreciate,” Thompson added. “But as much as anything, we can see the handwriting on the wall that unless something doesn’t change, we’re going to have a very good, well-built building here that’s not going to be used in a short period of time.”

Roads

County Engineer Scott Cline spoke with the board about recent roadwork and bridges. Cline asked for, and after discussion received an approved resolution to remove the stop signs at the intersection of Nutmeg Avenue and 200th Street.

The intersection of the two roads has had a stop sign for 200th for four years, and evidence suggests that the signs are largely being ignored. The supervisors agreed to remove the signs, but also to monitor the situation with this intersection moving forward.

Since Nutmeg doesn’t stop, it presents a danger, and the board agreed to put up red lights to alert motorists with signage indicating that cross-traffic does not stop.

Cline presented a proposal to the board from Calhoun-Burns and Associates, Inc. for the inspection and rating of 90 bridges in the county in 2019. The proposal presented a base cost for the service of $18,130, with potential additional services costing up to $12,000.

The firm, founded in 1982 and based in West Des Moines, is an industry leader in bridge and culvert projects and oversaw the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Trail Bridge project in Fairfield. The board approved a resolution accepting the proposal.

Of related interest, the board also passed a resolution to adopt bridge posted ratings based on bridge inspections completed in 2017-2018.

Finally, a disposal system contractor’s license for John Brewington and Brewington and Sons Concrete was approved.