Supervisors approve smaller budget Monday
Jefferson County Board of Supervisors approved the county’s 2014 fiscal year budget Monday after a public hearing with no comments.
“This budget, at $10.6 million, is a little less than the previous year’s budget,” said supervisor chairman Lee Dimmitt.
For the second week, supervisors considered a proposal from Brian Taglauer to split a land lot. Last week, the board agreed to ask for legal counsel’s review of the proposal.
Taglauer has proposed splitting his lot with his brother. His brother would have the parcel with the house, and live there, while Taglauer retained the parcel with a barn. He would continue using the barn. The whole lot has one driveway, which the brothers proposed to share.
“Any approval of splitting the lot is contingent upon no new development,” said County Engineer Scott Cline. “His intent is written in the application and will be recorded with the deed. However, the plan doesn’t exactly show the line on a drawing.”
Assistant County Attorney Pat McAvan said if the lot were to be considered a minor subdivision, each lot would need access to the road.
“My advice, to avoid future problems, is ask for more details,” McAvan said to the board. “I’m not sure this is eligible for a minor subdivision.”
Dimmitt said he had concerns about the lot split.
“We don’t know what he’s doing, and our ordinance says all lots should front on a road,” said Dimmitt. “This division creates a back lot without access.”
McAvan asked Cline to take the supervisors’ questions back to Taglauer.
“If in the future, the lot is sold, there needs to be the possibility of access for all lots,” said McAvan.
“And let him know the board doesn’t typically consider these requests without a drawing, and we’re not in the tradition of providing surveys or legal advice. He needs to hire someone for that.”
The supervisors did not act on the proposal.
Another property request was not discussed Monday, though it was on the meeting agenda to consider Schaefer Subdivision final plat. The supervisors expected someone representing Schaefer Subdivision to attend the meeting, and no one did.
In other business:
• Supervisors approved a new 28E Agreement with South Iowa Response Group, as presented by Tony Miller, Ottumwa fire chief.
“The only change in the agreement is Keokuk County left the group and we added Ringgold County,” said Miller.
SIRG, formed in 1991, was the first HazMat regional response team formed in Iowa, Miller said.
Each county is charged 85-cents per capita, based on the 2010 census, to fund SIRG.
“Tony and his crew do a tremendous amount of legwork and are very cognizant of costs,” said Dimmitt. “I’m impressed with the organization. It also provides training with the Fairfield Fire Department, and they work with the emergency management coordinator.”
SIRG gets dispatched by a town’s fire chief if needed to respond to an incident, Miller said.
“Or, we consult on the phone, depending on the severity of the incident,” he said.
• Supervisors approved employee dental and medical wraps renewals.
• Supervisor Becky Schmitz reported on attending an advisory committee at Jefferson County Health Center.
Jefferson County Health Center receives $1.01 for every dollar of actual costs for Medicare patients. Under sequestration it will receive 99-cents for each $1 of actual costs, or a 2 percent cut in funding.
Schmitz said the health center is in favor of Medicaid expansion because critical access hospitals — Jefferson County Health Center is one of 88 critical access hospitals in Iowa— need the federal funding to serve patients.
• Schmitz also reported on meeting with area mental health care providers and Central Point of Coordination Jefferson County Mental Health Administrator Sandy Stever to discuss the county’s application to the state as a stand-alone region for mental health care services.
“We had 15 providers here and we broke up the parts of the application for various people to work on,” Schmitz told her fellow board members. “Sandy and I will edit and package the application before submitting it.”
Supervisor Dick Reed said it’s unlikely many counties sat down and talked with 15 providers, and Dimmitt agreed.
• Dimmitt and Jefferson County Sheriff Gregg Morton attended a recent Lockridge City Council meeting to answer any questions about the county’s new annual charges to the smaller incorporated towns for law enforcement services. Lockridge approved the new 28E Agreement, he said.
• A township trustee asked who has liability for fences around cemeteries. He said his township has six cemeteries, which are under the township’s responsibility for upkeep. But he wasn’t clear if perimeter fencing was the responsibility of the county or the township.
The supervisors said they would look it up and get back to him.
• The board of supervisors is scheduled to attend the Board of Health meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Public Health Office.