Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | May 28, 2017

Van Buren County supervisors approve budget

By Rusty Ebert, Ledger correspondent | Mar 15, 2017

KEOSAUQUA – Van Buren County Supervisors approved a reduction in a work assignment for an employee and approved the upcoming fiscal year 2018 budget during their weekly meeting Monday.

The board held its public hearing on the 2018 fiscal year county budget. No members from the public were present for the hearing, and for the first time since 1988 there was no public comment.

The budget as presented was approved and adopted with the following maximum expenditures set for the various service areas:

• Public safety and legal services – $1,221,486

• Physical health and social services – $491,395

• Mental health – $249,780

• County environment and education – $370,364

• Roads – $3,515,000

• Government services – $282,895

• Administration – $707,410

• Capital projects – $1,789,500

The following maximum departmental appropriations were set as follows:

• Supervisors – $134,022

• Auditor-$241,681

• Treasurer – $207,944

• Attorney – $131,549

• Sheriff – $1,040,737

• Recorder – $139,608

• Engineer – $5,232,000

• Veteran Affairs – $42,140

• Conservation – $279,125

• Health board – $406,605

• Weed commissioner – $600

• Human services – $20,650

• Care facility – $18,100

• Medical examiner – $17,000

• District court – $13,000

• General services – $110,600

• Mental Health – $249,780

• Juvenile PO – $17,500

• Non-Departmental – $330,789.

Van Buren County Engineer Ryne Thornburg was present to update the board on various road projects including Highway 98 curve and structure on property at the Douds bridge, office manager interviews, brush cutting and rocking, and  equipment operator position.

The board discussed the structure on county property at the Douds bridge. Supervisors will discuss this with the owner. The consensus was to ask the property owner to remove the structure.

Thornburg has been exploring ideas to improve the curve at the Douds bridge.

There were 15 applicants for the office manager position. Thornburg also updated the board on expected delivery date for the excavator and invited the supervisors to Davenport to view the new maintainers being built at the John Deere plant.

• Susan Frey, Van Buren County CPC/GA/VA director, was present to discuss matters regarding the staffing of that office.  Jon Swanson, representing Heartland Insurance Risk Pool, was also present, via phone.

Upon request of Susan Frey, the board went into closed session for 24 minutes.

During open session, supervisors approved a motion that reduces the salary of employee Susan Frey, as the result of a work assignment decision of the Van Buren County CPC by Southeast Iowa Link (SEIL), the regional mental health and disability services agency of which Van Buren County is a member.

The work assignment decision adjusted the work duties of Frey to those of the administration of general assistance program and Director of the Van Buren County Veterans Affairs Commission.

The decision constitutes a 60 percent reduction in Frey’s work assignment and her salary was reduced from $35,300 to $14,120 on an annual basis, for fiscal year 2016-2017, effective April 3, with the percentage adjustment in salary also applying to fiscal years subsequent to this fiscal year.

According to the minutes of the SEIL, the agency itself requested the reassignment of duties for CDS services in November 2016, citing issues with meeting compliance requirements. The SEIL board voted to authorize the CEO of the SEIL to reassign those duties. It asked the county to take action by January 1.

In January, Van Buren County Supervisors notified SEIL that it had designated Sandy Stever, Jefferson County Coordinator of Disability Services, to take care of their CDS services. The SEIL board approved the transition plan.

• On the recommendation of the county treasurer, Jordon Gire, Douds, was appointed as a temporary parttime assistant in the county treasurer’s office, effective March 10, 2017, at a salary of $9.00/hour.

Following discussion of the proposed 2018FY health and dental insurance rates, the chairman was authorized to sign an agreement with Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield for health insurance coverage effective July 1, 2017, at the rates of $665.10/month single coverage, $1662.71/month family coverage (9.83 percent increase), and that the present dental agreement with Delta Dental be renewed effective July 1, 2017 at the present rates of $35.05/month single, $80.10/month family.

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