Supervisors hear wage increase recommendations from County Compensation Board at January 2 session, proclaim January as Mentoring Month at recent meeting


January proclaimed National Mentoring Month … At its Monday, January 8 regular session, the Allamakee County Board of Supervisors proclaimed January as National Mentoring Month. Pictured above at the proclamation are: Front row - Left to right: Intern Mentoring Coordinator Daniel Dejapin, mentor Aleesa Baakko, Helping Services Mentoring Coordinator Kathy Schwartzhoff, Helping Services Mentoring Program Steering Committee member Bob Rotach and Helping Services Mentor for a Day and Director of Prevention Services Tessa Willie. Back row: Helping Services Development Coordinator Dennis Osmundson, Allamakee County Board of Supervisors members Dennis Koenig, Dan Byrnes and Larry Schellhammer, and Helping Services Executive Director Carson Eggland. Standard photo by Joe Moses.

by Joe Moses

The Allamakee County Board of Supervisors met in a pair of regular sessions within this past week's time due to the New Year's Day holiday falling on the board's regular scheduled meeting day of Monday. The board met in that holiday-delayed session Tuesday, January 2 before returning to its regular Monday meeting day for its next regular session Monday, January 8. Coverage of both meetings follows:

TUESDAY, JANUARY 2
The Allamakee County Board of Supervisors met in regular session Tuesday, January 2 due to the New Year's Day holiday falling on its regular Monday meeting day. The board addressed a full agenda of items including the Northeast Iowa Regional Housing Trust Fund (NEIRHTF) program review and Fiscal-Year 2019 funding request, the recommendation from the Compensation Board for Fiscal-Year 2019 and the consideration of a resolution regarding personnel in the County Auditor's office.

As is customary for the first meeting of each new year in its re-organizational format, Allamakee County Auditor Denise Beyer called the meeting to order with Supervisor Dan Byrnes motioning to appoint Supervisor Larry Schellhammer as Chairperson and Supervisor Dennis Koenig as Chairperson Pro-Tem, which was approved. The current meeting agenda and minutes of the December 27 meeting were approved.

During Public Comment, Randy Petersburg of rural Waterville discussed concerns with a recent land survey by a neighbor and results that may affect access to his property. Petersburg indicated that a road that was abandoned but not vacated and a fence line that may have been moved over the years are variables affecting the accuracy of this recent land survey. The Supervisors recommended that Petersburg follow up with Allamakee County Zoning Administrator Tom Blake as the next appropriate step in this matter.

The Supervisors approved setting Board Meeting days as Mondays at 9:30 a.m. with 10 minutes of Public Comment time. Discussion then moved on to the appointment of Supervisors to various Boards, Committees and Commissions. Byrnes and Schellhammer discussed making changes to their Board assignments by removing Schellhammer from the Allamakee County Board of Health and adding Byrnes and adding Schellhammer to the Northeast Iowa Juvenile Detention Board with Byrnes as an alternate. The Supervisors approved the Board, Committee and Commission appointments as presented with changes to the Allamakee County Board of Health and Northeast Iowa Juvenile Detention Board Supervisor assignments.

Beyer discussed the next agenda item involving claims due dates and pay dates, which she indicated have been the second and fourth Monday of each month. The Supervisors approved to continue that practice as presented. The Supervisors named The Standard of Waukon and The Postville Herald as Allamakee County's official newspapers. The 2018 mileage rate of 40 cents and bounty amounts of $5 for coyotes and 50 cents for gophers were approved.

The Supervisors moved into discussion of appointing members of the 2018 Compensation Commission pursuant to Iowa Code section 6B.4, with approval of the list as presented. Appointments to the Waste Management Board, Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission (UERPC) Transportation Policy Enhancement Committee and Eastern Iowa Tourism were approved as presented. These one-year term appointments ending December 31, 2018 include Dennis Nebendahl and Bob Drahn to the Waste Management Board, Jim Janett, Val Reinke and Bruce Palmborg to the UERPC Transportation Policy Enhancement Committee, and Craig White and Val Reinke to Eastern Iowa Tourism.

The next agenda item involved the Northeast Iowa Regional Housing Trust Fund (NEIRHTF) and Fiscal-Year 2019 funding request. NEIRHTF assists individuals, organizations and developers in the rehabilitation, repair and creation of projects that improve upon or contribute to the development of both rental and owner-occupied affordable housing.

NEIRHTF Program Manager Lori Brockway discussed NEIRHTF's history 2010 to 2017, including the distribution of grants and loans totaling $1,567,537.01 for projects in Allamakee, Clayton, Howard and Winneshiek Counties. Brockway indicated that as a match for these funds, local contributors provided $521,753.33 for total expenditures of $2,089,290.34. Brockway made a funding request of $10,000 from Allamakee County, which the Supervisors agreed to consider.

Compensation Board member Will Ament discussed the Compensation Board Fiscal-Year 2019 recommendation. Ament indicated the Compensation Board's recent two-hour meeting went well and that the composition of the Board is excellent. Ament discussed that the Board's consensus was to recommend a four-percent raise for the Supervisors and a six-percent raise for the County Sheriff.

Ament commented that the Supervisors' decision to not accept a raise last year was commendable but the Compensation Board felt that it was advisable to include a raise this year to stay competitive with other counties' pay rates and to ensure that Allamakee continues to attract high-caliber Supervisor candidates in the future, as they have the past 20 to 30 years. Ament indicated the decision to include a six-percent raise for the County Sheriff and Deputies was reached due to the increased responsibilities with the Allamakee County Public Safety Center and law enforcement demands that have increased over the last five to ten years. Schellhammer thanked the Compensation Board for its work on this matter.

The Supervisors discussed the Resolution Authorizing Engineer to Execute the Certification of Final Completion of Work for all Farm-to-Market and Federal or State Aid Construction Projects, which was approved.

The Supervisors moved into the consideration of a resolution regarding personnel in the County Auditor's office. Beyer indicated that she is recommending that Accounts Payable Clerk Kelly Ryan-Urell and Payroll Clerk Janel Eglseder be appointed as Second Deputy Auditors. Beyer provided details about the positive work performance of both clerks, being cross-trained and taking on additional responsibilities as needed. The Supervisors approved the Second Deputy Auditor appointments.

The Public Hearing for the Fiscal-Year 2018 budget amendment was opened and closed without written or verbal comment, that amendment dealing with changes in the budgets for the County's Conservation and Secondary Roads Departments as published in the December 20, 2017 issue of The Standard. The adoption of the Fiscal-Year 2018 budget amendment was approved. The adoption of the appropriations resolution for the Fiscal-Year 2018 budget amendment was also approved.

Under Department Head Updates, Emergency Management Coordinator Corey Snitker discussed that the Hazard Mitigation Plan's adoption will be part of the next Supervisors meeting agenda (January 8) and will then be submitted for review by Iowa's Homeland Security and FEMA and that the Emergency Management Commission meeting to take place in the near future will include budget discussions. Snitker discussed that a refresher Hazmat training will be taking place this month with various fire departments in Allamakee. Beyer discussed that ballots have arrived for the Postville Community School District special election and that absentee voting can begin.

MONDAY, JANUARY 8
The Allamakee County Board of Supervisors met in regular session Monday, January 8 to address a full agenda of items, including the National Mentoring Month Proclamation, the Helping Services Fiscal-Year 2019 funding request and setting a letting date for the Green Valley Bridge project. There was no Public Comment.

Mentoring Coordinator Kathy Schwartzhoff with Helping Services for Youth and Families discussed the National Mentoring Month Proclamation, which supports the growth of mentoring in Allamakee County. Schwartzhoff indicated that the mentoring program is important in assisting youth ages five to 16 in reaching their goals and saying no to drugs and alcohol, and that there is a continued need for additional short-term Mentor for a Day volunteers helping with events and long-term mentors that serve for a minimum of four hours or more per month. Schwartzhoff read aloud the proclamation, with the Supervisors approving January 2018 as National Mentoring Month in Allamakee County.

Executive Director Carson Eggland discussed the Helping Services Fiscal-Year 2019 funding request and provided a brief overview of the organization's services and funding needs, including the youth mentoring program, family education and domestic abuse services. Eggland and Development Coordinator Dennis Osmundson discussed the importance of fundraising and private contributions in bridging the gap between federal and state grants and the cost of providing services. The Supervisors will consider the $1,500 funding request made by Helping Services.

Allamakee County Auditor Denise Beyer presented the quarterly report for Allamakee County Planning and Zoning, which the Supervisors reviewed and approved.

The Supervisors moved into discussion of signing a new Mediacom phone and internet agreement. Beyer indicated that Mediacom has provided two options that include a three-year or five-year contract covering all of the Allamakee County Courthouse's phone line and internet needs. Supervisors Dan Byrnes, Dennis Koenig and Larry Schellhammer discussed that a three-year contract may be preferable considering the pace of change in technology and to encourage competition. The Supervisors approved the three-year agreement with Mediacom for phone and internet services.

Allamakee County Engineer Brian Ridenour discussed setting a letting date for the Green Valley Bridge project, a joint project between Allamakee County and the City of Waukon also utilizing State funding. Ridenour recommended setting February 12 at 10 a.m. as the letting date to receive bids for the project, which was  approved by the Supervisors.

The Supervisors moved into the consideration of appointing Allamakee County Emergency Management Coordinator Corey Snitker as alternate voter for the Board of Supervisors on the Northeast Iowa Response Group. Snitker discussed that he will need a copy of the meeting minutes indicating that he is the approved alternate voter in the absence of Koenig, to be submitted to the Northeast Iowa Response Group. The Supervisors approved Snitker as an alternate voter for the Board of Supervisors.

The Supervisors discussed a Resolution Adopting the 2018 Allamakee County Multi-Jurisdictional (MJ-7) Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan. Snitker indicated that this is a five-year plan that will be submitted to Iowa's Homeland Security and FEMA and will involve yearly meetings with the Supervisors and each of the cities involved. The Supervisors approved the resolution.

Under Department Head Updates, Allamakee County Conservation Director Jim Janett discussed that the Allamakee County Driftless Area Education and Visitors Center will be hosting the next Eastern Iowa Tourism meeting. He said he will be coordinating with Allamakee County Economic Development Executive Director Val Reinke in making those plans.

Ridenour advised that work continues with Attorney Richard Zahasky regarding Union negotiations and that a closed session to discuss negotiations may need to be added to the next meeting agenda. He also said the upcoming six-county meeting will be hosted by Clayton County.

Snitker indicated that he will be discussing budget matters at the Emergency Management Commission meeting later in the day taking place at the Allamakee County Public Safety Center. Beyer indicated that the next Supervisors meeting will take place Tuesday, January 16 following Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with the Courthouse being closed for the holiday. She also said that work continues in the Auditor's office with tax forms and Affordable Care Act (ACA) forms.
 

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