The Marshall County Board of Supervisors approved a major purchase for its secondary roads department at its regular meeting Tuesday.
A new John Deere motor grader was purchased from Murphy Tractor of Des Moines for $208,812, which includes the trade-in of a 1991 Caterpillar motor grader.
"It's been a couple of years since we got a new maintainer," said County Engineer Paul Geilenfeldt.
The motor grader cost $273,812 but was discounted $65,000 for the trade-in. The county has a fleet of 16 of these type of motor graders, which are used to maintain rock roads in the county as well as for snow removal.
The board also approved the installation of stop signs at the intersection of Knapp Avenue and 125th Street near Liscomb. Geilenfeldt said this can be a dangerous intersection.
The signs will be put up stopping eastbound and westbound traffic on 125th Street.
Pamela Janssen, who lives on 125th Street in rural Liscomb, said she would like to see the county go one step further and put stop signs on Knapp Avenue to make it safer. The county will investigate and see if this intersection will need to be a four-way stop.
A hire in the Marshall County information technology department again led to a discussion about how much computer programmers are paid in the county and how it's difficult to compete for talented staff. Scott Williams, IT director with the county, addressed the board saying he is hemorrhaging talent to other places who are paying more.
The hire approved Tuesday was for Stuart Zurcher as web developer and programmer at an annual salary of $45,000. Williams said the average starting salary for web developers at businesses in Marshalltown is more than $60,000 - so he believes he'll have trouble in the future getting the type of talent that he needs.
The supervisors said the budget doesn't allow for them to afford higher salaries for IT staff.
"We're trying to keep a budget put together," said Supervisor Chair Denny Grabenbauer.
Supervisor Deane Adams expects future discussion on this issue.