The Cherokee County Board of Supervisors met twice last week. In addition to their regular Tuesday meeting, a special meeting was held on Thursday to continue working on the budget and to set a date and time for the public hearing on the proposed budget. The time and date selected was March 9 at 9:05 a.m., in the lower level of the Cherokee Courthouse.
The reason for the second meeting is that the county is currently involved in contract negotiations with the Cherokee County Law Enforcement Center and the Secondary Roads Department.
The Board expressed caution in proposing the public budget hearing until talks were further along. Both the Law Enforcement and the Secondary Roads Department contracts were settled by Thursday. A three-year contract was agreed upon, with a 2 ½ percent increase in wages for the first year, a 3 percent increase in wages the second year, and a 3 ½ percent increase the third year.
During Tuesday's meeting, County Treasurer Hedgie Brandt discussed internal controls that will be implemented in her office to comply with fiduciary bonding requirements.
Also Lynda Holmich, Community Services Case Manager, met with the Board to explain Home and Community Based Services (HCBS).
Holmich explained that the federal government gives clients an HCBS waiver to live in the community instead of in an institution, with two-thirds of the cost paid by the federal government and one-third paid by the county of residence. Holmich requested a closed session to discuss details of Cherokee County's HCBS program.
At 9:40 a.m., on Tuesday a motion by Schmidt, seconded by Graybill to go into closed session per Iowa Code Section 21.5(a) "To review or discuss records which are required or authorized by state or federal law to be kept confidential or to be kept confidential as a condition for that governmental body's possession or continued receipt of federal funds."
At 10:25 a.m., regular session was resumed with no action resulting from the closed session.
Hedgie Brandt presented a letter addressed to Old Republic confirming the implementation of additional internal controls effective February 16.
The supervisors asked Brandt to keep them informed if the bonding company accepted the new controls put in place for the County Treasurer's Office.
The supervisors continued to review departmental requests for the 2010/2011-budget during the Tuesday meeting.
At the Thursday meeting, the Board went over the pay raise recommendation from the Cherokee County Compensation Board.
A 45-cent increase is proposed for non-union hourly employees and a 1.4 percent wage increase is also proposed for County Department Mangers who are not covered by the Compensation Board.
Proposed increases for elected officials are as follows: Supervisors-$21,100 (1.4 percent), Board Chairman-$1,000 extra, County Attorney-$83,000 (1.4 percent), County Auditor-$47,000 (2.4 percent), County Treasurer-$47,000 (2.4 percent), County Recorder-$46,500 (1.4 percent). and County Sheriff-$57,500 (3.9 percent).
A Health insurance increase was also proposed with a 10 percent increase for a single person and 32 percent increase for family during the first year, An increase of 20 percent for single person and 32 percent increase during the second year and a 30 percent increase for everyone during the third year.