Law enforcement in Atkins and how to pay for it

Benton Supervisors meet in Vinton.

By Jim Magdefrau

VINTON – Law enforcement again was the major topic for the Benton County Board of Supervisors when they met with the Benton County Sheriff, focusing on how to provide enforcement in the City of Atkins.

The board met Tuesday, June 29, at the service center in Vinton.

The board and Sheriff Ron Tippett looked at the proposed law enforcement contract with Atkins, raising the hourly rate and hours of service. The rate the sheriff came up with is $36.05 per hour, plus a three-percent increase. There is a three-percent increase for each of the two following years. Sheriff Tippett said brings this it up to where the city is paying the complete salary and benefits of a deputy. He added they look forward to working with them to create their own department. The county is providing the vehicle. This is for 40 hours a week.

Primmer observed he was concerned that Benton County residents were providing law enforcement for communities. He felt it wasn’t the duty of the residents of Benton County to supplement the law enforcement in the communities. He felt the contracts with communities are good to reinforce coverage, but not to be the sole provider of the coverage. As for Atkins having its own department, Tippett said Atkins is growing at a rate that they will have to do something.

The current contract is for 18 hours a week.

Supervisor Gary Bierschenk agreed, saying, “I don’t know how to do it, but we have to get Atkins to get their own law enforcement.”

Primmer was not in favor of the proposal. Bierschenk stressed they have to have good law enforcement. Primmer countered that they do have good law enforcement. The question is who is going to pay for it. Supervisor Chairman Tracy Seeman said he’d like to meet with the council. Tippett said he’d get on the agenda in Atkins.

Other business

The board adopted resolutions on FY22 Departmental Appropriations, FY22 Bank Depositories, FY22 Officials’ Bank Depository Amounts. Rick Primmer noted Dysart State Bank is listed as a depository, and is not in Benton County.

They approved FY22 Salary Certifications for deputies in the Auditor’s, Recorder’s, Treasurer’s, Sheriff’s and Assistant County Attorney’s Office.

The board acknowledged the resignation of Wayne Frickson in Secondary Roads.

The board acknowledged the resignation of Kelly Smith as assistant county attorney.

A land use hearing was set for Samuel Tiernan for land in Parcel B, Section 23, Florence Township, on Tuesday, July 27, at 9:15 a.m.

A land use hearing was held for Karlee and Ryan Kasal, for land in Section 17, Florence Township. This is just north of Norway, and is for one acre. They’d like to put a home on the site. The request was approved. A septic system needs to be installed, and the driveway relocated.

The board approved a credit card for the mental health department, after meeting with Mona Onken of Social Services, with a $2,500 limit.

A fireworks permit was approved for Chris Herr on July 10.

A ninth member was appointed to the pioneer cemetery commission. She is Doreen Anderson, Newhall.

A 28E agreement was approved for Victim Witness Coordinator/Sexual Assault Response Team Assistant between Benton, Iowa, Buchanan, Iowa, Clayton, Delaware and Jones County.

In other action from the sheriff’s department, the following action was taken.

– Approved and signed union contract with sheriff’s office union.

– The board acknowledged and approved early retirements and resignations in the sheriff’s office. Early retirement was approved for LaDonna Fairbanks and Mark Phippen. A resignation was approved for Philip Close, sheriff’s office jailer.

– New hires are Brandi Tickle and Hayley Pringle as part-time correction officers.

– Approved law enforcement contract with the city of Blairstown. It is the same as last year’s.

The board met with the county attorney on pending litigation. A closed session was held pursuant to Iowa Code Section 21.5(1)(c). “To discuss strategy with counsel in matters that are presently in litigation or where litigation is imminent where its disclosure would be likely to prejudice or disadvantage the position of the governmental body in that litigation.”

Meeting on YouTube.

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