Mahaska County Board Eye County Issues

Mahaska County Board of Supervisors met on Monday, Aug. 1 in a regular meeting.
Present were Recorder Sue Brown, Chair Willie Van Weelden, Vice Char Mike Vander Molen and Supervisor Mark Doland. Several items were approved in quick fashion, including the agenda and the minutes from the meeting of July 18. The bills from July were approved, and it was moved to accept the fourth quarter report from the Sheriff’s office.
Additionally, it was approved to cancel outstanding disbursements from fiscal year 14­15. “There are a couple of checks that were never cashed,” said Van Weeldenn, to the tune of $284.
A request from Co­Line Welding for a fireworks application was approved. Additionally, a liquor license, Class B Native Wine Permit, was approved for Frisian Farms Cheese.
There was a payroll change in the Sheriff’s department. The hiring of Benjamin Johnson as a Sheriff’s deputy was approved.
Due to some storm damage from July 13, 2016, there were some insurance claims turned in. “It’s not in our plan that we pay for these out of insurance,” said Van Weelden. “Even though it’s not part of the polic, it doesn’t mean that we can’t reimburse some or all of the cost,” said Vander Molen. “My biggest issue is with the employees who were parked in the lot, who suffered damage and are out of pocket” due to tiles that came off the courthouse roof.
There were three employee ­owned cars that suffered damage, parked on the north side of the building. Troy Bemis, Maintenance Director/Safety Coordinator stated that the tiles that did the damage were probably tiles from the north side, which were attached with nails and not among those that were repaired or replaced in 2015.
“If it was some of the tiles we had repaired, I can see us maybe not reimbursing them, but I know we strategically decided to not do the entire roof and that carries some of the risk, as we knew the tiles were more likely to [come off],” said Vander Molen, who made a motion to reimburse the three vehicles damaged by the storm of July 13, which passed.
In the case of a Secondary Roads employee requesting leave without pay, was brought by Dave Shanahan, County Engineer, before the Supervisors. After some discussion, it was decided to follow guidelines set forth in the handbook, which states that the employee must first exhaust their Shanahan also initiated discussion regarding a recent Secondary Roads retiree’s pro­rata vacation pay. Due to some uncertainty regarding what was stated in a union contract that was not renewed for the next year and county policy, the topic was tabled. “I’ll go visit with him, [see what] other options are acceptable and still be within the code and not effect the county policy, because if you do that for one, you’ve got to do it for everybody and we as an agency can’t afford to do that,” said Shanahan. “But it was one of those where there was really no clear­cut answer because of the fact that there were so many variables at the time of discussion.”
The floor was then opened for public comments. “I am representing a marathon,” said a female speaker. “Gov. Brandstad has signed a proclamation on the 26th of April, that the counties in Iowa could read the scripture audibly from Genesis to Revelation on the county courthouse properties throughout the whole state. It’s called the 99 County Bible­Reading Marathon.”
Fifty counties participated over the Fourth of July weekend, and there has been an extension so the remaining counties can participate in September. The marathon will begin onSept. 8 and continue through Sept. 11. “We have obtained insurance to cover this, if there is a question on insurance, and we would like permission to do this” said the speaker. “We are not going to go ahead until we have permission.” Vander Molen didn’t see that the item needed to be put on the next agenda for a vote. “You’re welcome to assemble as you wish,” he said. Another speaker stated that it was mandated by the state that they need permission to do the event. “We need to follow the proper steps,” he said, “so we’ve got this all in line.”
Van Weelden was going to check with some of the other counties that had participated in the marathon and see what they did, but barring any unforeseen circumstances, the group could proceed.
Story provided by the Oskaloosa Herald


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