Otter Creek grant administrator approved


Otter Creek grant administrator approved

Mike Van Sickle
Union editor

Northeast Iowa RC&D was chosen to administer the local Otter Creek Watershed Project grants on Monday. The local organization was selected by the Fayette County Supervisors with a bid equaling 2 percent, or approximately $32,000, of the estimated $1.56 million project.

Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission submitted a bid of approximately $31,260, while MSA Engineering submitted the low bid of $20,000.

Prior to the unanimous decision to choose Northeast Iowa RC&D, Supervisor Chairperson Jeanine Tellin asked whether the county officials were required to accept the low bid.

After Supervisor Vicki Rowland reported that accepting the low bid is not a requirement, Supervisor Darrell Dolf noted that the officials are required to choose a party that can adequately complete the work.

Later, via teleconference, Tellin asked Jeff Geerts of the Iowa Economic Development Authority whether it would be beneficial for the County to select someone familiar with Community Development Block Grant applications, to which Geerts replied in the affirmative.

Rowland commented that from previous experiences working with RC&D staff members, she believes they worked very well together and were good at communicating with each other.

Dolf noted that RC&D had been involved with the ongoing Turkey River Watershed Project since its inception, with which Tellin agreed.

Dolf made the motion to accept Northeast Iowa RC&D’s bid, which was seconded by Rowland.

Later, the Supervisors were informed by West Union City Administrator Bob Vagts that the submeter to the West Union geothermal pump system had been installed in the courthouse basement.

Vagts said it is his understanding that once the system is operational, a City employee would read the meter on a scheduled monthly basis. The City would then reimburse the County at the average cost of usage on the County’s monthly billing statement. The City would then bill the operator of the system for its reimbursement.

After the Supervisors’ agreed to the billing plan, Vagts was asked the estimated cost to install a separate meter for the system. Vagts replied the estimate was $40,000 and that the City would continue to look into funding for a separate meter.

The West Union City Council will host a public hearing at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 7, in regard to a proposed lease of the City’s district energy (geothermal) system.

According to the proposal, “The property and system will be leased to West Union District Energy, LLC, for a period of five years, for an annual payment amount equal to the insurance premiums the City will be required to pay in order to obtain insurance for the City’s interests in the property and in the operation of the system.”

Following the hearing, the council may at that time, or at a later date, make a final determination on the proposal.

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