Jasper County finds new engineer

·3 min read

Jul. 12—Jasper County has hired its new engineer.

On July 6, the Jasper County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the engineer employment contract for Michael Frietsch, who was unable to attend the meeting. Jasper County Human Resources Director Dennis Simon said Frietsch would begin work Aug. 1.

Simon also said Frietsch and his wife made an offer on a house in Newton and are looking forward to moving to Jasper County and getting started. According to the hiring resolution, Frietsch — who would be in charge of the secondary roads department — will receive a $120,000 annual salary.

The three-year contract also stipulates the county will provide the engineer with all the "equipment, material, manpower and transportation" necessary for the efficient performance of his duties. Frietsch will also receive a vehicle to operate in performance of his duties, the contract states.

Per the contract, the Jasper County engineer shall keep himself and the county advised on the condition of the budget items of the Secondary Roads fund. Frietsch will also have control of all planning, engineering, construction and maintenance work of his respective department and all employees therein.

By July 1 of every year, which is the start of a new fiscal year, the engineer's salary will increase in increments. Frietsch will be paid $125,000 in 2022 and $127,5000 in 2023 or an increase to match the cost of living adjustment for that year, whichever is higher.

The county engineer will have four weeks of vacation each year. Any remaining unused vacation not exceeding two weeks may be carried over from one year to the next. The contact also states he will be granted insurance benefits, sick leave, paid holidays and all other fringe benefits as a Jasper County employee.

Frietsch will be granted time with pay to attend highway conferences, engineers meetings, technical sessions and short courses and attend meetings required for his professional license. All expenses related to these meetings shall be paid by the county as state laws allow.

Jasper County has the authority to terminate this contract for cause by unanimous vote of the board of supervisors. The county must give written notice and provide specific facts upon which the cause for termination is based. The engineer can then request a hearing with the county to resolve the issues.

On the other hand, the engineer can terminate the contract at any time without cause by giving the county 30 days notice in writing to Jasper County. The county can also terminate the contract without cause by giving written notice to the engineer within 30 days; the engineer would have up to four months severance.

In other action Tuesday, the board of supervisors:

—Approved the hiring resolutions for two new jailers at the Jasper County Sheriff's Office. Cale Hunter and Liberty Morrow will be paid $19.17 an hour on a hire-in rate union scale, effective July 17. Simon said one full-time jail employee retired and another full-time jail employee resigned. These two new hires would replace those positions. Jasper County Sheriff John Halferty said the department is looking forward to getting them started.

Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or cbraunschweig@newtondailynews.com

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