Neighbor helping neighbor will keep the Jackson County Engineer’s Office operating while the county searches for a new engineer.

Jackson County will temporarily share engineering services with Clinton County, paying for services provided by Clinton County Engineer Todd Kinney on an as-needed basis.

Clinton County approved the agreement June 22, and Jackson County approved it one day later.

Kinney’s service began July 1.

“Todd reminded us that before he was hired, Jones County provided the same type of interim services for Clinton County,” Clinton County Supervisor Dan Srp said. “So, it’s neighborly and kind of the right thing to do. (Kinney) shared with me and gave me the impression he feels somewhat obligated to be able to accommodate the request.” 

The agreement became necessary after Jackson County supervisors on May 26 fired county engineer Clark Schloz by not renewing his contract. At that time, the supervisors said they were unhappy with Schloz’s performance, most recently in regard to the county’s deteriorating bridges and Schloz’s lack of initiative hiring employees in his office.

As the interim county engineer, Kinney has the authority to carry out duties required by the engineer’s office.

Under the agreement, Jackson County will pay Kinney $77.95 per hour for each hour he works for the county. The Iowa Department of Transportation reaffirmed it would probably take four to six hours per week to complete the bare minimum services Jackson County would require, Kinney told the Clinton Herald.

Jackson also will reimburse Clinton County 58 cents per mile when Kinney uses Clinton County vehicles for work in Jackson.

The agreement is valid through Dec. 31 or until Jackson County hires a new engineer. That process began last week when the supervisors gave authority to advertise the position to county human resources director Becki Chapin.