Tuesday Afternoon News, April 12
County Approves Bids For Culvert And Bridge Installation Projects
(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Supervisors accepted the bids for five construction projects that will begin this summer. Richards Construction of Sac City was successful in submitting the lowest bid on four of the five projects. Richards Construction offered a bid of $49,924 for the installation of a concrete box culvert located near Hedge Avenue and 270th Street. The county's estimate for the project as prepared by county engineer Tom Rohe was $48,684. A second concrete box culvert project located west of Le Mars near the intersection of Iris Avenue and 190th Street was also given to Richards Construction of Sac City as they submitted the low bid of $55,064.50 and the county estimate was at $59,323. Richards Construction placed a low bid of $105,169 for a precast concrete culvert installation located in the northeast portion of the county near County Road L-22 and 150th Street. The estimate cost for installation was at $108,975. Another large culvert installation project located near Kingsley at Tamarack Avenue and 280th Street was successfully bid by Richards Construction of Sac City with a bid of $144,213. The county estimate for the construction project was listed at $146,707. The final project is a steel bridge located east of Le Mars near County Road C-30 and Otter Avenue. The bridge project was approved on a low bid of $147,010 submitted by Dixon Construction of Correctionville, Iowa. The estimate on the project was listed at $135,455.
Plymouth County Pork Producer Completes Asian Trade Mission
(Le Mars) -- A Plymouth County pork producer recently returned home after participating on a trade mission to Singapore and Malaysia. Joe Rotta is a director with the Iowa Pork Producers Association and in late march he traveled to the far eastern nations to help promote red-meats. Rotta says representatives of the Iowa Cattlemen Association were also on the trade mission. He says two-thirds of the Malaysian nation are Muslim, which creates a problem for U-S pork exports.
The rural Merrill pork producer says the beef consumed in Malaysia must be inspected separately, and be given a special blessing, before it can be consumed.
Rotta says a beef packing plant located in Sigourney, Iowa is adapting its facilities to serve the Malaysian market. Rotta says Singapore is a different story, and the far-eastern nation offers U-S pork producers great potential for pork exports.
Rotta says Singapore is a growing nation in terms of both its population and with its economy. He says the people of Singapore appreciate the quality of U-S pork and U-S beef.
Both the U-S Meat Export Federation and the U-S Grains Council helped organize the trade mission. Rotta says it is good to have those associations with staff in place to help with the export of U-S red meat products.
Legislature Decides To Wait A Year On Reading Program Requirements
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa lawmakers in a legislative budget group plan to propose delaying a state-mandated summer reading program for struggling third-graders because there's no money to pay for it.
The joint Education Appropriations Subcommittee said Tuesday the roughly $14 million needed to support the program is not available. They want to add language to a budget bill that would delay implementation from 2017 to 2018.
Sen. Brian Schoenjahn, an Arlington Democrat and subcommittee co-chairman, says there's bipartisan support to delay the program. At least one education group applauded the move.
Gov. Terry Branstad didn't include money in his budget recommendations for the program, which could hold back some third-graders who don't complete it. A spokesman for Branstad says the governor will reserve judgment until he sees the legislation in its final form.
Iowa House Passes Water Quality Initiative Bill
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Republican-controlled House has passed a bill that would fund water quality initiatives in Iowa, though it's unclear if the Democratic-majority Senate will support it.
The House voted 65-33 Monday night in support of the legislation. Democrats in the chamber attempted several changes to the measure but failed.
The GOP proposal would use money from a special infrastructure fund and a tax on water use, which typically goes to the general fund and a separate fund for education infrastructure. Democrats say those sources of funding should be left alone.
Gov. Terry Branstad has said he supports the House legislation, though it drastically shifted away from his own water quality plan. The bill now heads to the Senate, where legislative leaders plan to introduce their own water quality proposal soon.