The Cherokee County Board of Supervisors met with Cherokee County Human Resources Director Kristi Petersen on Tuesday to hear an update on an Employee Assistance Program Counseling Proposal.
Petersen contends that this counseling program would be a benefit to county employees. The program would consist for five sessions per incident, per employee, along with members of their families who may be having mental health issues.
Employees in need would be able to call a 1-800 Hotline number to talk to counselors. The program would be provided by Plains Area Mental Health and would cost the county an annual sum of $2,100.
If an employee doesn't feel better after the five sessions, the employees would have to get more traditional treatment.
Petersen told the Board that 33 percent of businesses in the nation have implemented similar EAP programs. Petersen stated that the benefits of a County EAP would less stress, which would less problems from employees and higher work output along with showing the employees that their employer care about them.
This program would cover all county employees and not just the ones who already have health care options for mental health.
The Board told Petersen to check around and see if any other counties have EAP and what it cost them.
Petersen also brought a wage authorization request for Greg Johnson of the Cherokee County Conservation Department. The Board approved the request and Johnson will now be paid $13.50 per hour, a 50 cent per hour increase.
Cherokee County Engineer Dave Shanahan presented two utility permits for the Boards approval. The first permit was for Iowa Lakes Electric for an underground line in Section 22 of Spring Township. The second underground permit was for Cherokee Rural Water in Section 32 of Liberty Township. The Board approved Shanahan's request.
Shanahan also talked to the Board about purchasing a new loader for the Secondary Roads Department. Shanahan told the Board that the current loader was purchased 27 years ago. Shanahan has narrowed his such down to two types, a John Deere 624 and a Caterpillar 938. The John Deere would come with a price of $118,000 with trade-in and the Caterpillar would cost $110,000 with trade-in.
Shanahan also stated that he does have enough money in his budget for the purchase, and would have his operators test out each of the loaders and get their opinion on how each of the loaders handles.
In other business, the Board listened to a presentation from Cherokee Economic Development Corporation Director Mark Buschkamp. on the pros and cons of Tax Abatement vs. Tax Increment Financing.