The Cherokee County Board of Supervisors recently held a budget hearing for a proposed amendment to the 2011/2012 budget.
At issue were several line items concerning the County Conservation Department and County GIS Department.
In regards to the Conservation Department Board budget amendment of $25,000 for the Conservation Martin's Access playground
$10,000 for the Silver Sioux playground
$26,000 Bobcat contract buyout -current budget of $10,000, amendment amount $16,000. The total County Conservation amendment was $51,000 from the County Environment section of the County Budget.
In regards to the amendment for the County GIS, which is department that was recently created and was not previously budgeted by the County due to the fact it was previously part of the County Assessors Office,tThe proposed amendment is as follows: Regular Employee Salary $42,000;
Temp/part-time employee wages $2,800
Employee Mileage & Subsistence $500
Web Hosting, Etc. $11,000 - current budget $6,000, amendment amount $5,000
Education & Training $6,000
GIS Office Equipment Maintenance, $14,000 -current budget $10,000, amendment amount $4,000.
GIS Fica $3,400
GIS Ipers $3,400
Health Insurance $5,400
Total proposed GIS Department amendment was $72,500 from Administration section of the County Budget.
Total Amended Expenditures for the proposed line item budget amendment was $123,500. The Board voted with a roll call vote with all ayes in favor of the budget amendment.
The Board then met with Steve Thomas and Mark Hecox of the Spring Lake Yacht Club Committee along with Cherokee City Administrator Don Eikmeier and Duane Mummert of the Cherokee City Parks.
Last week the Spring Lake Yacht Club requested $50,000 from the Board as part of their fundraising efforts in regards of building a new Yacht Club at Koser Spring Lake Park. At that time the Board table the request.
Later in that meeting Supervisor Graybill suggest to the other Board members that they should think about give the project $150,000 spread out over three years to help develop and clean up the lake to attract more tourism.
He suggested that the lake should be dredged and swimming should be allowed back at the lake. The Board at that time wanted to talk to Eikmeier and Mummert to get their input on the idea.
Eikmeier stated at Tuesday's meeting that the City of Cherokee is currently working with the Spring Lake Yacht Club Committee and is open to the Board's suggestions. He asked the Board if their plan would be a value to the community.
Graybill answered yes to Eikmeier's question and stated that rural America is struggling to attract people to the communities and this would be a chance to take it to the next level.
Graybill then began to make another statement but stop before he spoke and turned to this reporter and said, "Let not put this in the paper."
A statement he made numerous times in the past and which this reporter has often reminded Supervisor Graybill that these are open meetings and it is the reporter's choice what to leave in or out of the paper and not his.
Feeling frustrated by the lack of Graybill understanding of Iowa's Opening Meeting Laws, this reporter honored Graybill's request and left the meeting.
A subsequent call to the Cherokee County Auditor's Office to speak to Kris Glienke, the Board of Supervisors Clerk, to abstain the actions of the Board for the rest of Tuesday's meeting was as follows.
The Board did approve $50,000 to got to the Spring Lake Yacht Club from the County's Rural Betterment Fund. Eikmeier was going to bring the rest of the Board proposal to the Cherokee City Council later that evening.
In other business the Board approved a five-day alcohol permit for Jamin-R-Enterprises for the three-day festival Creekfest to be held on July 20, 21, and 20 northwest of Cherokee.
The Board then approved retroactive wage increases in the amount of $1 per hour from April 30 for Marlene Ebert, Dave Skou, and Barb Staver of the Cherokee Sheriff's Department. The trio will also receive an additional 65cents/ hour increase on July 1, along with all non-union County employees.
The Board also approved a resolution to waive a 14-day waiting period DNR Confinement Construction Permit for Aaron Hinkeldey of ADH Farms located in Diamond Township, Section 15.