Mt Pleasant News

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Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 18, 2018

Supervisors move forward with jail construction

May 04, 2018

By Gretchen Teske, Mt. Pleasant News


Henry County Supervisors received permission to move forward with the jail construction after the temporary injunction filed by Prochaska and Associates was denied. The project is set to break ground Wednesday, May 16, at 10 a.m.

At their Thursday meeting, supervisors announced that on April 27, they filed a motion requesting an immediate hearing on the temporary injunction. The threat of the project shut down was delaying the awarding of construction contracts. On that same day the court entered an order on the county’s notion stating that if the plaintiff did not alert the council of its intent to proceed by May 2, at 8 a.m., the injunction would be denied. Prochaska and Associates failed to file.

Prochaska and Associates filed a lawsuit on March 5 alleging, among other things, breach of contract regarding the work done for the Henry County Jail, including evaluating the functional and operational deficiencies of the existing Law Enforcement Center facilities, reviewing previous studies and providing a forecast of anticipated capacities for the next 30 years. In the lawsuit, Prochaska claims they had assessed fees of Phase 1 and 2 under market value with the assumption they would be contracted for Phase 3. Prochaska was then excluded from bidding Phase 3 because the contractor had allegedly cast them in unfavorable light to the Board of Supervisors.

In addition to the supervisors, Prochaska is also suing the Law Enforcement Center contractor John Hansen (individually) and Midwest Construction Consultants for violating the Iowa Open Records Act, breach of implied contract and breach of contract in law and unjust enrichment. Construction was not permitted to move forward until the lawsuit was settled or the injunction to halt construction, denied.

On May 2 at 12:41 p.m., Judge Michael J. Schilling electronically signed the motion to deny the injunction thus allowing the construction of the jail to continue. “We’re moving forward with this project,” said supervisor Greg Moeller.

The construction contracts are as follows:

Meyers Construction: $3,547,086

Noah Dentention Center: $1,154,930

C & M Cooling: $398,950

Brockway Mechanical: $524,532

Francis Electric: $642,075

Winger Mechanical: $124,468

During their monthly department head meeting, supervisors heard from nine department heads.

Supervisors also heard from County Engineer Jake Hotchkiss. He reported work on the bridge on Iowa Ave. and bridge 37 in Winfield has been completed. Road construction for Dakota Ave. is wrapping up as it has been rocked and seeded. Currently they are waiting on the removal of traffic control before the road can be open again.

Henry County Deputy Treasurer Kellie Sloan reported the department mailed 600 delinquent notices for the month of May. The last day to pay before names are published is May 25. The treasurer’s office is beginning a pilot project with DOT supervisors to hold a morning meeting once a month. The meeting will delay opening time. The first day of the project will be May 24. If the project continues, the office will be open at 8:30 a.m., instead of 8 a.m., once a month. Sloan also reported the office will operate under different hours two additional times this month. The treasurer’s office will be closed from 12 to 1 p.m. on May 9 and May 16 will close at 3 p.m.

Henry County Coordinator of Dissability Services Sara Berndt announced there will be a town hall meeting on May 15 at 11 a.m. at the Court House. The meeting will discuss mental health and diversion of repeat offenders in jail.

Roger Pittsenbarger, director of Henry County Veteran Affairs, announced they are seeking applicants to replace member Sarah Jacobs, who is relocating to Iowa City.

Public Health Interim Director Shelley Van Dorin announced they have submitted two grants and have three left to complete by the end of the month. They plan to move into their new building July 1.

Marla Willey, assistant recorder in the office of the Iowa County Recorder, announced June 1-3 is a free fishing weekend. Any Iowa resident can fish without a license.

Planning and Zoning Director Joe Buffington reported the “junk” policy will be committed to writing by Tuesday.

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