Supervisors approve collective bargaining agreements with Sheriff and County Roads Departments, vote to not increase own salaries for FY22

by Joe Moses

The Allamakee County Board of Supervisors met in regular session Monday, February 8 to address a full agenda of items including the approval of Collective Bargaining Agreements between Allamakee County and the County Sheriff’s Office and the County Road Crew, approving the Fiscal-Year 2022 salary for the Board of Supervisors and the hiring of a full-time maintenance person for the Secondary Roads Department.

There was no Public Comment during that designated portion of the meeting. Manure Management Plan updates for Manderfield Ag 1 and 2, Crossroads Dairy and Steve Weymiller were individually reviewed by the Supervisors with all four plan updates being accepted and placed on file.

The Supervisors moved into the consideration of approving and signing the Collective Bargaining Agreements between Allamakee County and the Sheriff’s Office and between Allamakee County and the County Road Crew. Allamakee County Engineer Brian Ridenour advised that this is a three-year contract with some minor changes relating to funeral and bereavement leave and that new employees hired after June 30, 2021 will not receive any sick leave pay-out upon retirement. Ridenour noted annual hourly wage increases to take place at 70 cents, 72 cents and 74 cents during this contract period, and he advised that job descriptions have been removed from the contract.

Allamakee County Sheriff Clark Mellick also reported that the Sheriff’s Office has agreed to a three-year contract with a three-percent salary increase per year for dispatcher/jailers and administrative assistants. Mellick briefly discussed some updates relating to vacation time in the new contract. The Collective Bargaining Agreements were both approved and signed by the Supervisors.

The resolution approving the Fiscal-Year 2022 (FY22) salary for the Board of Supervisors was the next matter addressed during the meeting. Supervisor Dan Byrnes noted that the County Compensation Board had provided a recommendation for a three-percent salary increase with the Supervisors deciding against a salary increase for themselves in FY22. Chairperson Larry Schellhammer and Supervisors Mark Reiser and Byrnes approved the resolution as presented without a salary increase for FY22.

The hiring of a full-time maintenance person for the Secondary Roads Department was discussed with Ridenour providing an overview of the matter. Ridenour said that due to a retirement, a vacancy exists for a Maintenance Person II position with duties to include the operation of a snow plow, gravel truck and tractor/backhoe out of the Dorchester shop. Ridenour advised that the candidate to be recommended lives near the Dorchester area, which is ideal for emergency situations. Ridenour provided a recommendation to hire Tim Flack for this full-time position at $20.41 per hour starting February 23, with the Supervisors approving that recommendation.

A detour route on Secondary Roads due to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade  in Waukon was next addressed. Ridenour said that the City of Waukon is planning for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade to take place Sunday, March 14 with a noon to 3 p.m. window of time needed for a detour route for State Highways 76 and 9 through Waukon. Ridenour advised that the parade route is the same as in previous years with Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) approval remaining. The Supervisors approved the detour route as outlined by Ridenour.

Ridenour also addressed the next matter relating to the consideration of bridge replacement bids for the Cota Creek Bridge in Harpers Ferry on B25. Ridenour indicated that only one bid has been received for this project bundled with Bremer County, which has now approved its portion of the agreement relating to Federal funding. Ridenour provided a recommendation to approve the low bid received from Taylor Construction of New Vienna at $700,452.45, which was 9.42% above the engineer’s estimate for this project. The Supervisors approved the bid from Taylor Construction.

Bridge replacement bids for the Yellow River Bridge on Livingood Springs Road was next discussed by Ridenour and the Supervisors. Ridenour advised that the low bid was 16.73% over the engineer’s estimate and that he recommends rejection of all bids. Ridenour discussed reevaluating the calculations used in estimating structural concrete costs, which may have been low in the engineer’s estimate but were in line with previous projects and bids provided. Ridenour recommended that all bids be rejected and that re-letting take place in May to allow for work to start during the next winter and continue through summer. The Supervisors approved to reject all bids for this project.

Ridenour also provided an update on the Iowa River Drive (A26) project, noting that a couple of easements have not yet been attained to allow for additional right of way necessary for culverts to be replaced, extended or repaired. Ridenour discussed that condemnation or changes may be necessary for this project to move forward. The Supervisors and Ridenour discussed the potential delay of the project and will continue to work on addressing those delay issues.

As a Department Head update, Ridenour discussed snow removal performed by the Secondary Roads Department with cold temperatures being expected this week. Mellick discussed that there have been recent reports of scam phone calls.

Allamakee County Auditor Denise Beyer discussed ongoing work relating to budgets and matters relating to the employee handbook. Prior to adjournment, the Supervisors held a budget work session.

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