Supervisors approve compensation increase for all but themselves; no change in tax levies

by Joe Moses

The Allamakee County Board of Supervisors met in regular session Monday, March 13 to address a full agenda of items, including the Public Hearing for the proposed Fiscal Year 2018 Allamakee County budget, the approval of compensation increases for elected officials and approval of County support for libraries.

There were no comments heard or read during the Public Comments portion of the meeting. The Public Hearing for the proposed Fiscal Year 2018 Allamakee County Budget was opened. There were no written or verbal comments from the public. Allamakee County Auditor Denise Beyer provided an overview of the budget before the hearing was closed.

A two percent compensation increase for elected officials, a zero percent compensation increase for the Board of Supervisors and a two percent salary/wage increase for other department heads and non-union employees were all approved by the Board.

The Supervisors also approved the County support for libraries and Fiscal Year 2018 library contracts. County support for libraries will remain unchanged at a levy rate of 1.7866 and a total of $125,403.27. The Supervisors briefly discussed visiting County libraries tentatively to start in May, with the subject being added to the next meeting agenda.

The Resolution approving Fiscal Year 2018 Budget and Certification of Taxes was discussed. Supervisor Dan Byrnes advised that levies have stayed the same from the previous year, with General Basic at 3.6, General Supplemental at 2.1816, County Mental Health and Disability Services at .59416, Rural Services at 6.75576 and Rural Basic at 3.1482. The Fiscal Year  2018 Budget and Certification of Taxes were then approved.

Jane Regan with Upper Iowa Insurance Services was present for the discussion and consideration of earthquake insurance. Board Chairperson Larry Schellhammer commented that this agenda item has prompted KWWL Channel 7 News to contact the Board by e-mail. Regan discussed the options available with a ten percent deductible on buildings and contents. Allamakee County Sheriff Clark Mellick commented that he has discussed the matter with an engineer, who advised that the probability is low risk but would not provide a recommendation for or against an earthquake policy. Mellick advised that the block work at the Public Safety Center could be a concern in the event of an earthquake. Schellhammer thanked Regan for the information, but due to lack of a motion from any of the Supervisors, no action was taken on this matter.

The Supervisors discussed combining the next three agenda items into one vote, including the consideration of appointing the Allamakee County Medical Examiner, Deputy Allamakee County Medical Examiners and Allamakee County Medical Examiner Investigator. Upon examining the list of appointees, there was concern that one individual may no longer be on the local medical staff and the proposed list should be verified before a final vote. Due to that discovery, the matter was tabled with no action taken at this time.

A tax abatement for Christopher L. Schneider of $87.00 was approved for a building that has been removed from the property but has not been removed from the property assessment. The liquor license renewal for the Old Rossville Store was also approved.
Under Department Head Updates, Allamakee County Emergency Management Coordinator Corey Snitker discussed the Policy for Disclosure of Security Related Information, which relates to the security and dissemination of information and closed meetings pertaining to the courthouse and public buildings security plan. Snitker also advised that final routes for the Des Moines Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI®) have been released.

Beyer discussed the Legislative Conference in Des Moines that she recently attended. She pointed out that the Voter I.D. bill had moved through the funnel process in the State Legislature. She also explained that currently an I.D. is not required for voters but that it does save voters time in not having to fill out a form. Beyer also advised that if the bill becomes law, the matter will be added to the training of poll workers.

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