Cherokee County Sheriff Dave Scott has requested that the Cherokee County Board of Supervisors send a formal letter to the City of Cherokee that offers the county-owned former DHS building on West Maple Street to the Cherokee Police Department in exchange for the City to walk away from its interest in the Cherokee County Law Enforcement Center (LEC).
At the request of the City, the Board approved a motion to have Cherokee County Attorney Ryan Kolpin draft a letter outlining the County's offer to the City of Cherokee to be submitted in time for last Tuesday's City Council meeting.
The letter reads:
"It has recently been brought to the attention of the Cherokee County Board of Supervisors that there are definite space issues and upgrades that are needed with our current Law Enforcement Center and Jail facilities. In an effort to start discussions to correct these issues, we propose the following possible resolution for your consideration. As you may be aware, the County owns the property located at 239 W. Maple St. Cherokee. This formerly was the location of the Department of Human Services. The County is proposing for discussion the possibility of deeding the City this property, in its current condition as is, for the use of the Cherokee Police Department. This would be in exchange for any interest the City feels it may have in the current Law Enforcement Center and Jail facilities. This proposal would entail moving the Cherokee Police Department within a reasonable period of time.
"This proposal would potentially help alleviate space issues and would allow the County time to improve the County Jail facilities over a reasonable period of time to alleviate the burden on county taxpayers.
"Please review this proposal as a starting point for discussion on this issue."
The Board also suggested that it would help the Cherokee Police Department pay for their phone and computer hook-ups as part of the offer.
In other business, Ed Morrison of the Iowa Municipalities Worker's Compensation Association, gave a report to the Board on annual policy and claims review and the annual site inspection. He told the Board that the County has only 25 claims on accidents by county workers in the past three years. Of those accidents nearly half were results of slips or falls on ice or snow and Cherokee County ranks within the top 10 percent of all 99 Iowa counties for safety.
Cherokee County Engineer Dave Shanahan updated the Board on the River Road Bridge project. He told the Board that plans are currently being finalized and is hopeful that construction will soon begin and is hoping to have the bridge open sometime in October.
Shanahan also sought the approval to hire a Project/Construction Manager. That position would help oversee construction plans, surveying and several other duties at an annual salary of $45,000 to $50,000. Shanahan also requested hiring a part-time receptionist position to work at the office at the Secondary Roads Office. That position would pay $8 to $8.50 per hour and require 25 to 30 hours a week. The Board approved both request.
Ben Shuberg, Environmental Health/Emergency Management Director, was introduced to the Board. Shuberg gave the Board an update on FEMA personnel currently meeting with citizens and conducting interviews and inspections with those who have filed flood and storm claims with FEMA.
The Board also signed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding Holiday Pay with the Operating Engineers Local 234. The agreement reads as follows:
"Each employee will be paid eight hours of Holiday pay regardless if they work that day. If an employee is called to work on a holiday, in addition to their straight time eight hours of Holiday pay, they shall be compensated at one and one half times their normal hourly rate for all hours worked on the Holiday.
"When employees are working a four-day, 10 hours per day schedule or other schedule configuration that includes 10 hour work days and one of the work days falls on an observed Holiday, the employee shall be paid 10 hours of Holiday pay regardless if they work that day. All work performed on a Holiday will be paid at the premium rate stated above.
"This agreement regarding the interpretation of the collective bargaining agreement shall apply only during the term starting July 1, 2010 and ending June 30, 2013. Further, it is understood that this Agreement shall not override the Engineer's or his designee's ability, in their absolute discretion, to schedule or modify the employees work hours per week as listed in the original collective bargaining agreement starting July 1, 2010. It is to be clear that if during a week of a Holiday that if the employees are scheduled to work five days at eight hors per day they shall only receive eight hours of Holiday pay per the above rates."