Supervisors look at vehicle use and office space

VINTON – Sheriff Ron Tippett sought permission to have a deputy park his patrol car at his residence in Cedar Rapids, at the Tuesday, Dec. 3, meeting of the Benton County Board of Supervisors.

Tippett said other deputies park their cars outside of the county, but it’s usually just a mile outside of the county. Board Chairman Richard Primmer said it could be a “can of worms,” since other employees who park county vehicles at home list this as a taxable benefit. The county needs to treat everybody alike, Primmer said.

Benton County Courthouse

The deputy now drives his personal vehicle to Vinton to pick up his patrol car.

The board agreed they would allow this, but would investigate this further regarding it being a taxable benefit. Vehicle use was further discussed with Engineer Myron Parizek, as well as the county’s policy on this. Parizek said there is an administrative code section on this that was brought up by Iowa State Association of Counties (ISAC), at a recent conference. Auditor Hayley Rippel will check with ISAC on this. They will also look at the use of county vehicles for personal errands, such as shopping or dropping off children at school or daycare.

Rippel reported in research after the meeting that patrol vehicles are exempt. It’s up to the board on setting up a policy regarding use of other county-owned vehicles.

Tippett also discussed his budget for next year. They are looking at a satellite access center in Belle Plaine and it is in the budget. Other stakeholders are also interested in a space in Belle Plaine. They also discussed looking for space at the new county office building for Abbe Center. “Everything will boil down to dollars and cents in the end,” Primmer said. Primmer’s concerns are expense and manpower for a satellite office.

At the close of the meeting, the board discussed responsibility for tiling repair along county roads.

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