The Cherokee County Board of Supervisor got off to an early start during last week's regular Tuesday meeting, starting an hour earlier from the normal start time of 9 a.m.
The main focus of the Board's agenda was a budget work day. The Board heard from 11 Cherokee County Department heads that summated their department's 2010/2011 budget request.
With a 10 percent cut from the next year's Iowa State budget, tough decisions loom over how counties will be able to spend during next budget season.
County Auditor Kris Glienke stated, "The Supervisors are asking for less money in their budget this year and most departments are requesting about the same amount as last year."
Among the departments that submitting their budget request were:
Cherokee County Auditor-$243,820 with .21% increase
Cherokee County Board of Supervisors-$217,583 with 1.22% decrease
Cherokee County Treasure-$218,388 with .15% increase
Cherokee County Attorney-$272,801 with 1.88% increase
Cherokee County Engineer-$5,340,000 with 3.34% decrease
Cherokee County Recorder-$136,048 with .45% increase
Cherokee County Veteran Affairs-$32,175 with 3.82% increase
Cherokee County Conservation-$303,918 with 1.31% increase
Cherokee County Weed Commission-$34,475 with 2.27% decrease
Cherokee County Emergency Management Services-$142,522 with .55% increase
Cherokee County Community Services-$1,372,102 with 3.26% decrease
Cherokee County Sheriff Dave Scott had to cancel his budget request due to a prior commitment. The Board also discussed other non-departmental budget requests including a funding request from the Cherokee Area Economical Development for $154,154 based on property valuations for 2010/2011.
Also, the Cherokee County Library Association requested continued support. Mary Jo Ruppert of the Cherokee Public Library gave an update on the Stories 2000 program and requested $1,000 of county support.
Ruppert and Lois Alquist represented the Cherokee County Library Association with a review of trends in library usage and thanked the supervisors for their continued support. Ruppert also requested $500 to assist with reading packets given by the Cherokee Library to all mothers of newborns at Cherokee Regional Medical Center.
Former Iowa First Lady Christie Vilsack started the Stories 2000 program in the year 2000. The programs started out with eight libraries across the state for a volunteer reading program to be held in conjunction with Women Infants and Children clinics and to send free books home with children and parents to keep reading a focus for families.
Ruppert stated that the Cherokee Library Stories Program is the only program that is still running within the state. They hand out 75-100 books during each session and Ruppert again stated that the program still has $700 in it budget and that would last until July but she request an additional $1000 to make the program last one more year.
In other business, the Board opened up bids for the L-3-B-09, L-1-B-09 and L-4-B-09 bridge replacement projects. Bids received for L-1-B-09 were: $148,543 from Christensen Bros., Cherokee; $157,203 from Dixon Construction Co., Correctionville; and $178,555 from Graves Construction, Spencer.
Bids received for L-3-B-09 were: $145,443 from Christensen Bros., Cherokee; $156,343 from Dixon Construction Co., Correctionville; and $180,805 from Graves Construction, Spencer. Bids received for L-4-B-09 were: $157,173 from Christensen Bros., Cherokee; $170,895 from Dixon Construction Co., Correctionville; $200,975 from Graves Construction, Spencer; and $211,046 from Kooiker Inc, LeMars.
Chad Dutler, Engineer's Office, took the bids to verify and compile the proposals. The Board approved the advance bridge replacement project L-4-B-09 into the FY2009/2010 Budget and Construction Year of the five-year plan.
The low Christensen Bros. bids were accepted by the Board for all three projects.
Dave Shanahan, County Engineer, requests the approval of moving the Amherst 250 project of the County five-year plan, which the Board approved. Shanahan also requested the transfer of monies to Farm to Market Funds from the Secondary Roads. The Board took no action on that request.
The Board also approved an updated county personnel policy regarding the closing of the Cherokee County Courthouse during bad weather. The new language is as follows:
Regular full-time and regular part-time employees as defined by the personnel policy who have completed their probationary period are eligible to be paid their normal working hours when the Court House is closed due to weather concerns. To be eligible for the pay, the employee must have worked the last scheduled workday immediately before and the first scheduled workday immediately following the weather related closing. This policy does not apply to employees that are already on a scheduled vacation unless the vacation ends the day before the closing or the scheduled vacation starts the day after the closing. This policy does not apply to temporary/seasonal employees. This policy applies only to employees of Cherokee County who are not subject to a collective bargaining agreement.
The Board also appointed Mark Simonsen to the Cherokee County Board of Adjustment. That appointment comes with a six-year term.