By Mike Leckband
The Cherokee County Board of Supervisors has set a budget hearing for the 2009/2010 fiscal year to be heard on March 3 at 9:15 a.m. The Board has also approved the budget for publication.
Other business addressed by the Board at last week's meeting was a Disaster Grant that Aimee Barrett, Environmental Health and Emergency Management Agency Director, applied for due to last summer storms that caused damage within the county.
There is currently $22 million in state funds for counties that were declared disaster counties. The minimum amount granted by the state would by $2,000. Barritt would like to put the monies toward weather radios for rural residents. Other suggestions by Barritt were to apply the grant to the "20 Weeks to Preparedness Program."
This program is to encourage people to get their own supplies and to be prepared in case of disaster. The EMS would set up starter kits for county residents and a list of materials. Residents of the county could then buy a few items on the list each week and by the end of 20 weeks people can be ready if a disaster comes.
With rules of the grant limiting on how the money is to be spent and many other counties in the State needing funds more than Cherokee County, Supervisors Dean Schmidt and Terry Graybill suggested that maybe those counties may benefit more and questioned if the grant could be transferred to them.
If that suggestion was not possible the Board then asked Barritt if the money could be diverted to the county parks. Currently, several of the county parks are receiving early warning sirens. Barritt will check to see if the money could be diverted for other programs within the county or state.
The Board also meet with County Treasure Hedgie Brandt and approved resolution #2009-3 regarding the county investment policy and drivers license hours.
Drivers license hours will be extended to 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday and be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the rest of the week. The deadline for taking the written test will be set at 3:45 p.m. and CDL written test will be taken only on Tuesday, and the CDL driving test will be by appointment only.
Other business for the Board was the approval of all claims for payment. The Auditor's office announced that all claims for payment will now be posted on the county website and would be updated every two weeks at www.cherokeeiowa.com. The Board also approved Chairman Jeff Simonsen to issue a response to the audit response letter for the 2008 fiscal year.
The Board also approved a county Internet policy for county employees. As stated in portions of the County Usage Policies:
"The main purpose for providing Internet and e-mail to Cherokee County employees is for County business and administrative activities. Users of the system are reminded to consider that while they use the County systems they represent the County just as they would at a County function or in a County vehicle. Visits to websites and other Internet use may reflect upon the County and should be undertaken in a businesslike manner. The County reserves the absolute right to review and disclose all matters sent over the system or placed into its storage. There should be no expectation of privacy from inspection by Cherokee County of any materials on the County's computers. Any violation of the Internet policy will subject the employee to discipline up to and including termination. The misuse of electronic communications system privileges may be disciplined in accordance with established personal policies, work rules, and/or Iowa Code. Violations of this policy may be grounds for dismissal. In order it insure that the County's property is not being misused, the County may monitor communications and examine any computer information."