Board OKs Rates

The Mahaska County Board of Supervisors met Monday morning.
Chairman Willie Van Weelden, Vice Chair Mike Vander Molen and Supervisor Mark Doland were present, as well as Recorder Sue Brown. After a moment of silence, the agenda was approved, as were minutes from July 5. The fourth quarter semiĀ­annual and annual reports from the Treasurer and Recorder were accepted.
There were a couple payroll changes to take care of, including hiring to fill a position that is currently vacant in the driver’s license department, which was approved. A raise in salary for another employee was considered, which was also approved.
The next item on the agenda involved appointments to the Pioneer Cemetery Commission, which had a number of vacancies to fill. Vander Molen moved to appoint Joe S. Crookham and Elizabeth Christopher to the terms that expire December 31, 2016 and also to appoint Ron Groenendyk to the unexpired term that is set to expire in 2017. The motion was approved.
Consideration for exception to policy to include Target Case Management treatment. Doland stated that the insurance committee met last week, but no recommendations were made. An external review will be set into motion on that topic.
The Board approved the Public Health Agreement and health insurance rates for fiscal year 2017. Dave Sedivic, Director of the Mahaska County Conservation Board (MCCB) gave a report. “I guess, the first thing is our revenues were up higher than we projected, so that’s a good thing,” he said. “Most of that came from camping revenues. Since we opened up that new side of the campground, especially since we put the restrooms in. In six years, our camping receipts have gone up over 300 percent, so that’s what drove most of the increase.”
A last summer through winter project for MCCB will be working on signage, including area signs and boundary signs. Additionally docks at White Oak and Russell are in need of repair. “We pulled them al out of the water and we’re trying to decide if we’re going to completely replace them or if they can be repaired,” said Sedivec. MCCB will check into materials and prices. Sedivec also discussed the progress on the shooting range at Russell Wildlife Area. “The work has been going slow, but it is progressing,” he said. “We get calls probably once a week with people wanting to use the range. And I like to use it too, so it’s kind of frustrating for me as long as it’s taking, but I think when the project’s done, people are going to be happy. I think it’s worthwhile, with especially the safety aspect of it. I think people will be happy.”
The MCCB summer camps have been successful this year, with many kids participating.
Youth Field Day, which will be the last Saturday of September, will be a little different this year than in previous years, offering new activities. “Instead of having the kids go around in specific groups with group leaders, it’s kind of a free for all,” said Sedivec. “They can go out there with parents and spend time with what they want to do, versus being so regimented.” The change is in hopes that more kids have an opportunity to participate and be included.
Doland shared a complaint he received from a township trustee that received a letter from the city of Oskaloosa about the payment that was due for their fire protection. The first notification was in the form of “a certified letter threatening that they are going to have to cease giving them fire coverage, at the very first notification from the city attorney,” said Doland. “I thought that was a little bit overboard. I have no idea the normal protocol is for something like that, but it certainly doesn’t spread goodwill when the first contact asking for payment is a threat to cease on the fire protection.”
After opening the floor for public comments, of which there were none, the meeting was adjourned.

Story provided by Angie Holland


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