The Cherokee County Board of Supervisors met with Mark Buschkamp, Director of the Cherokee Area Economic Development Corporation, on Tuesday at the Cherokee County Courthouse.
Buschkamp updated the Board on how the Cherokee Industrial Corporation Railroad Spur project is coming along. He stated that the tracks on the east side are laid and the westside tracks are about half completed.
Buschkamp told the Board that he normally would present an annual written report on activities that the CAEDC has been up to the past year, but due to a small staff, Buschkamp gave an oral report instead.
Buschkamp spoke on several projects that the CAEDC has been and is currently involved in, including lobbying in Des Moines for the Cherokee Mental Health, highlighting Cherokee County to companies such as Cleanline Energy, lobbying for the Wind Turbine Maintenance course at Western Iowa Tech Community College, and working with the City of Cherokee on the industrial site at the Olhausen Trailer Court, and the proposed West Central Regional Housing Trust.
The Board then met with Cherokee County Engineer Dave Shanahan who presented the Board with two bid with Gus Construction of Casey, Iowa, for box culverts. One culvert is for Willow Township and the bid for that project was $267,425, and the other is for Silver Township and that bid was $177,977. The Board approved the bids.
In other business, the Board met with Cherokee County Sheriff Dave Scott and Chief Deputy Jeff Friedrichsen regarding the 2012/2013 budget. The Board had recently asked the Sheriff's Department to trim its budget and Sheriff Scott came back with an extra $41,000 in cuts in the Sheriff's budget.
Scott and the Board then began going over the Sheriff's budget and identified an additional $1,000 that could be cut, bringing the total to $42,000. The Sheriff's 2012/2013 budget will now come in at $1,300,000, a 1.28 percent increase from the current budget.
The Sheriff also got the Board's permission to start looking for an additional deputy to be hired in the near future.
Also meeting with the Board on budget issues was Cherokee Community Services Director Lisa Langlitz. Langlitz stated to the Board that she needed an increase in her annual budget due to the state shifting some services to counties. Her 2012/2013 budget will now come in at $1,600,000, an increase of 17.5 percent for Langlitz's current budget.
The final budget meeting on Tuesday was with Cherokee Conservation Director Chad Brown. The Board asked Brown to keep his budget the same as the current budget, which comes in at $315,000. Brown's new budget came in at $314,000 for 2012/2013. In the case of the Cherokee Conservation Budget, the County must maintain a lower budget to remain qualified for money from REAP.
The Board also gave Brown their assurance that funds could be made available from the General Fund if the need a rises.
Coincidentaly, the Board then approved such a amendment from the 2011/2012 Budget for $25,000 for a new playground and the construction of two modern family restrooms building with showers to be built on the grounds of the new section of Martin's Access.