Supervisors discuss variety of information technology matters for County Courthouse and Public Safety Center

by Joe Moses

The Allamakee County Board of Supervisors met in regular session Monday, June 25 to address a full agenda of items including the consideration of an IT equipment purchase for the Allamakee County Public Safety Center, consideration of a 28E agreement for emergency law enforcement services with Effigy Mounds  National Monument and consideration of joining the Opioid Litigation Group. There were no members of the public present and no Public Comment.

District Conservationist Luann Rolling with the Allamakee Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) provided an overview of the Watershed Inspection report discussing various sites and recommendations. The Supervisors approved the Watershed Inspection report.
Allamakee County Zoning Administrator Tom Blake presented a plat request for the Robert J. Heffern and Family Trust indicating that a three-acre parcel is being surveyed off to allow a family member to construct a cabin. Blake indicated that the Planning and Zoning Commission and Plat Review Board have recommended approval. The Supervisors approved the plat request.

The Roger D. and Toni M. Bakewell, John F. Troendle, Joanne C. Buxengard, Gerald F. Bakewell and Roger Bakewell plat request was presented by Blake and reviewed by the Supervisors. Blake discussed that the plat request involves severing one acre of the property allowing a family member to build a personal storage building with the Planning and Zoning Commission and Plat Review Board recommending approval. The Supervisors approved the plat request.

The Supervisors moved into the consideration of bids for concrete pavement patching with Allamakee County Engineer Brian Ridenour providing an overview of the project involving countywide full depth concrete patching. Supervisor Dan Byrnes individually opened and read aloud the three bids received for the project including Cedar Falls Construction, Inc. at $111,972.00, Denco Highway Construction of Mingo at $122,700.00 and Skyline Construction, Inc. of Decorah at $89,549.43. Ridenour indicated that he will review the bids and provide a recommendation at the Friday, June 29 Supervisors meeting.

Ridenour discussed the next agenda item involving the consideration of wages for the Assistant to the County Engineer. Ridenour indicated that Assistant to the County Engineer Jeremy Bjerke has performed well in his duties and will continue with testing and licensing. Ridenour recommended a pay increase from $24.96 to $27.34 per hour effective July 1, which is below the $27.79 per hour state average for this position. The Supervisors approved the July 1 pay increase.

The Supervisors discussed the approval and signing of the Solutions Annual Support Agreement and Information Technology (IT) Services Agreement for Fiscal-Year 2019. The Supervisors approved the agreement, which covers IT support for the Allamakee County Courthouse.

Allamakee County Sheriff Clark Mellick discussed the IT equipment purchase and IT Support Services Agreement for Fiscal-Year 2019 with proposals from two service providers including Solutions and Access Systems. Mellick indicated the purchase will involve a server with installation that is necessary for the back-up of information and data security. Mellick discussed the one-time server purchase and install proposals at $25,168.81 from Solutions and $22,488.56 from Access Systems, recommending Solutions with lower hourly support and technician charges which will result in long-term savings. Mellick further advised that Solutions is the company that has worked on the Public Safety Center’s computer network and the County Courthouse’s computer network.

Mellick spoke of the opportunity to have a single contract with Solutions covering IT services for both the Public Safety Center and the County Courthouse when contracts are renegotiated in a year. The Supervisors approved the IT equipment purchase and IT Support Services Agreement for Fiscal-Year 2019.

Mellick discussed the purchase of IT equipment with the County credit card to include HDMI cables, a splitter and a switch to allow viewing to switch from a computer monitor to a television monitor necessary for meetings with several individuals when reviewing budget information or accident investigation information. Mellick indicated that provides the lowest price on these items but would require use of the credit card to make the purchase. The Supervisors approved the purchase of the IT items using the County credit card.

Mellick discussed the 28E agreement for emergency law enforcement services with Effigy Mounds National Monument in Allamakee County, discussing the role and jurisdiction of the Park Ranger stationed at Effigy Mounds and the request for services from the Allamakee Sheriff’s Department in emergency situations. Mellick indicated that the 28E agreement clarifies that the Sheriff’s Department may take over in search and rescue or other emergency situations where Effigy Mounds may not have the resources available. The Supervisors agreed to have Allamakee County Attorney Jill Kistler review the agreement further.

Mellick requested that the personnel matter listed next on the agenda be tabled for discussion at a future meeting. The agenda item involving the discussion and consideration of selling office equipment was also tabled for discussion at the July 2 Supervisors meeting.

Allamakee County Auditor Denise Beyer discussed the signing of the Business Associate Agreement with Iowa Counties Technology Services. Beyer explained that a recommendation from the Iowa State Association of Counties (ISAC) was received by e-mail indicating that outside counsel has recommended all counties and regions sign an associate agreement with Iowa Counties Technology Services. Beyer reviewed the memorandum with the Supervisors that provided further details on the services involved protecting public health information.

Beyer indicated that the County Attorney has reviewed the agreement, which does not have a cost for participation. The Supervisors approved the agreement, with Supervisor Dennis Koenig voting against, citing concerns relating to redundancy of multiple forms of coverage regarding this information.

The Supervisors discussed signing the “Opt In” Notice Form for the class action lawsuit regarding the County’s right to recover additional sums under the Payments in Lieu of Taxes Act for Fiscal-Year 15, Fiscal-Year 16 and Fiscal-Year 17. The Supervisors approved to sign the “Opt In” Notice Form.

The Supervisors moved into the consideration of joining the Opioid Litigation Group. Beyer discussed earlier concerns that were raised regarding participation in this litigation relating to the potential commitment of County personnel and work hours. County Attorney Kistler has reviewed the matter and recommended signing the “Opt In” Notice Form, with the attorneys involved hiring personnel to conduct research, eliminating the personnel factor or time commitment at the County level. Beyer indicated that Clayton County and Winneshiek County have since opted to join this litigation. The Supervisors approved to join this litigation group.

The Supervisors discussed bids for auditing services for Fiscal-Year 2018, Fiscal-Year 2019 and Fiscal-Year 2020. Beyer discussed sending bid requests to two auditing firms with Hacker & Nelson, Co. providing a proposal with costs for 2018 at $28,000, 2019 at $28,840 and 2020 at $29,700. The bid from Hacker & Nelson was accepted.

Beyer discussed a personnel matter, providing a recommendation to raise an employee’s salary to 83% of the County Auditor’s salary. The Supervisors approved the salary increase.

Under Department Head Updates, Mellick discussed that it was a quiet weekend and that work has continued regarding IT services. Board Chair Larry Schellhammer requested a daily inmate population report for the Public Safety Center with Mellick indicating that this information will be provided. Mellick advised the population level has varied with as many as 24 inmates at one time, and with 12 or 13 being a recent daily average. Mellick also advised that recent rainfall has prevented the installation of signage at the Public Safety Center and that landscaping projects will be accomplished including dirt placement and grass seeding.

Beyer discussed a recent cyber-security workshop regarding procedures for election security and that laptops will be receiving a Windows upgrade. Beyer indicated that the Friday, June 29 Supervisors meeting will involve the final claims for the current fiscal year.

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