Board of Supervisors addresses variety of matters

by Bob Beach

During public comment time at the regular meeting of the Allamakee County Board of Supervisors Monday, June 15, Dean Anderson, representing the Harpers Ferry Booster Club, asked the Board to approve an upcoming ATV ride sponsored by the Harpers Ferry Boosters. Anderson said that he had submitted a route for the Board’s approval, along with registration forms for riders that include a waiver of liability to the County for the September 2 ride.
Allamakee County Engineer Brian Ridenour said that he would like to conduct a field review of the route to ensure a safe ride. Board Chairman Larry Schellhammer said that the Board would consider approval of the route during its regular meeting next Monday, June 22.
Turning to regular business, the Board approved a settlement agreement with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission regarding a complaint filed by Solid Waste employee Burnell Sorum. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, the County will provide one hour of civil rights training for all County employees, an additional one hour of training for management personnel and pay Sorum $500.
The Board met with Allamakee County Attorney Jill Kistler, who presented the Board with an amendment to a 28E agreement with Winneshiek County regarding collection of overdue court debts, such as fines and court-ordered restitution. Kistler said that the amended agreement brings Clayton County into the agreement, which will allow the three counties to combine their collection efforts and more quickly reach the threshold at which a greater percentage of the collections made will be returned directly to the counties. She said that over the past fiscal year, Allamakee County has collected approximately $38,000, with around $15,000 going directly into the County’s General Fund and around $2,000 into the County Attorney’s budget. She also asked the Board to approve a $5,000 annual salary increase for Jill Mathis, her legal secretary who has taken over the majority of collection duties. The Board approved the amended 28E agreement and the requested salary increase.
The Board also met with Coordinator of Disabilities Services Kim Waters and Stephanie Kuhn, Patient Advocate for the First Judicial District. Kuhn said that she works with Waters and other Disabilities Services Coordinators to ensure that mental health patients receive the services they need. She explained that because of a recent change in the law, the appointment of the Mental Health Advocate is now a duty of the Board of Supervisors. Waters said that Howard County would continue to be Kuhn's employer of record and that her salary and benefits are included in the 28E agreement with County Social Services. The Board voted to appoint Kuhn as the County’s Patient Advocate.
In other business, the Board agreed to a contract with Jim Veale of Boone to act as the County’s professional evaluator for $4,600 to satisfy the requirements for the Partnerships For Success grant that provides funds for Allamakee Substance Abuse Prevention.

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