By Jim Magdefrau
VINTON – Michele Sauer was approved to fill the vacancy as Benton County Treasuer, created when longtime treasurer Kelly Geater resigned recently, at the Tuesday, Dec. 17, meeting of the Benton County Board of Supervisors in Vinton.
Sauer was sworn in after the meeting. She will fill the vacancy until a replacement is elected in the 2020 election. The winner of the election will serve out the remaining two years of Geater’s term.
Geater was on hand to explain the final treasurer accounting report through Nov. 30, 2019. Geater resigned effective at the end of last month. This is required when a treasurer leaves office, Geater explained. The report was approved.
She also explained the certificates of deposit the county had in area banks. Supervisors also had questions about ownership of trailer parks in Benton County. Geater explained all are in company names, and the owners live within the state. She wasn’t sure about the park in Urbana.
“Kelly, I want to thank you once again for all of the years that you’ve put in,” Benton County Supervisors’ chair Rick Primmer said to Geater. “It’s been a pleasure and an honor,” Geater replied.
Sauer was a deputy in the treasurer’s office. Geater took a job with the Linn County Treasurer’s Office.
“Thank you very much for stepping up,” Primmer told Sauer.
Laurie Worden updated the supervisors about the Workplace Learning Connection and the request for the budget for next year. The use workplace learning to prepare students for careers. This is the 22nd year of serving 96 school in Area 10 through Kirkwood. They hold career events and job shadows. The budget request was for $2,566. Primmer said he’s seen students at the high school level going through the learning center and are able to follow a career based on the training they received. He said it is an excellent program.
Vacation carryover was approved for Sarah Wagner.
Jerry Petermeier updated the board on proposed window and tuck-pointing work at Cedar Valley Ranch.
Rural access and Foundation 2
Benton County Sheriff Ron Tippett met with the board on the budget for Foundation 2 and the Rural Access Center, along with Foundation 2 Crisis Services members, who explained how they help on calls that involve mental health. Most calls have come from Vinton. Tippett presented the budget request for Foundation 2. Benton County is part of a multi-county region for this service.
Lindsey Upah is manager of the rural access center. They have served 42 people since August, when they first opened. Needs include better housing, homelessness, insurance, and support for people who just were released from jail. Most referrals come from the jail. There are also come walk-ins and referrals from Foundation 2. She expects numbers to increase, and they are working with Unity Point and area schools. Tippett also presented the budget for this, showing a wage breakdown. They are working to hire part-time positions. He also gave a recommendation on salary for Upah at $24.04 per hour, which was approved by the board. She was at $21.34 per hour. They are also working on a housing component for next fiscal year, and a shelter in Vinton. The first people helped at the access center were homeless.
Meetings have been held regarding an access center in Belle Plaine. A space has been found that will have all of the providers in one location. Tippett added the city has great interest in the project. He will keep the board updated on this.
Rural Access – https://ecriowa.org/benton-county-rural-access/
Foundation 2 – https://www.foundation2.org/