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Supervisors updated on roads, bridges

Friday, May 18, 2012

A good portion of Tuesday's weekly meeting of the Cherokee County Board of Supervisors was spent with County Engineer Dave Shanahan updating Board members on a number of bridge and road repair projects which are now, or soon will be, taking place in Cherokee County.

Board Chairman Dean Schmidt signed an 8J-18 Project Agreement with the D.O.T. for work on Bridge 216 in Afton Township at the meeting.

The Board also approved Shanahan's request for a utility permit for Westel to do a fiber optic cable project in Section 36 of Rock Township; authorized $19/hour salary for Joel Anderson as an Engineer's Aide; authorized an $18.79/hour salary for David Julius and an $18.76/hour salary for Brian Smith, as full-time laborers, now that both have completed their 6-month probationary period; and approved advertising for a full-time general laborer/machine operator position.

In other business, Work Activity Center Director Calvin Carver updated the Board on the project to replace a roof at the W.A.C. There are some small holes in the roof which has resulted in a few leaks, but no damage to the inside of the building. Carver has been in contact with Jim Haselhoff of Hasehoff Construction of Cherokee and he said he would be out to look over the project in late May or early June and complete the project by the end of June.

Ben Shuberg, the County Emergency Management Services Director, updated the board on replacing the garage door on the building in which the Disaster Rig is stored. The current door does not allow much clearance room for the vehicle, and will be replaced by a a 22' x 10 1/2' door. Benson Construction of Cherokee has submitted a bid of $13,579.72 for the project, and the Board approved this bid, with the stipulation that the money come from the Engineering Department budget, since they also use the equipment and have more funds available. Engineer Shanahan was in agreement with this decision.

Sheriffa Jones, the Executive Director of Iowa Lakes Resource Conservation and Development, gave the Board a brief report on RC & D's Glacial Trail Scenic Byway, which goes across the northeast corner of Cherokee County. Jones said there is some sharp new signage marking the trail, and she distributed information about the trail and other Iowa Lakes projects to Board members.

Community Services Director Lisa Langlitz discussed the wages of two of her employees who serve as Case Managers, asking for an additional wage increase of 75 cents/ hour because of the education and experience which are required for the position. She felt that the increase would make Cherokee County more competitive with other area counties, and noted that the Case Manager's salaries are reimbursable by Medicaid.

County Human Resources Director Kristi Petersen gave recognition to County employees who will be having birthdays in the month of June, and announced that a Wellness Committee for county employees has been formed, with members representing several different departments, and they are in the process of setting up goals and a plan.

Peterson also mentioned the job opening for a Jailer/ L.E.C. position, and Sheriff Scott said that a full-time person was hired Monday, and he will be directing the person who was hired to Petersen's office to complete all the necessary forms.

Petersen also asked for clarification on the salary of David Skou. Skou works for the L.E.C., but also works for the 911 Board, and Petersen said there is no paperwork in his personnel file which indicates this. She was concerned that an auditor might question this, so it was agreed that the 911 Board should make sure that their agreement with Skou is on paper and a copy is in his personnel file.

As a final order of business, the Supervisors and Kristi Petersen discussed whether the employee or the county is responsible for an optometrist's "fitting fee" for safety glasses, worn by Secondary Roads employees. It was decided that the fitting fee should be considered as part of the glasses, for which the county pays, according to the contract. Employees are responsible for paying for their examination, as outlined in the contract.



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