Benton County approved budget amendment

Pledge of Allegiance with Hayley Rippel, Tracy Seeman, Gary Bierschenk and Richard Primmer.

By Jim Magdefrau

VINTON – An amendment to the current fiscal year’s budget was approved by the Benton County Board of Supervisors at their meeting Tuesday, Oct. 5, at the service center in Vinton.

There were no comments.

The amendment helps with American Recovery Program (ARP) money the county is receiving, grants for conservation, start of the human resources department, iPads for transportation buses, tools and central air work for maintenance, a vehicle for mental health and salary for a behavioral specialist, updating the county’s website, updating the Global Information System (GIS) website, election supplies, and forfeiture for the sheriff’s department.

The amendment was approved unanimously.

Other business

A bid was accepted for the behavioral specialist vehicle for $24,999.

The board approved the use of the courthouse for the local holiday parade. They also discussed holiday lighting for the courthouse with Melody Snow of Vinton Unlimited.

An update was given on the wellness participation and ways to increase participation, as there are employees who are reluctant to participate.

The board approved engagement letters with D.A. Davidson.

An agreement was approved with Dorsey and Whitney, bond counsel.

A hearing was set for a public hearing on proposal to enter into a General Obligation Emergency Communications Loan Agreement and to borrow money thereunder in a principal amount not to exceed $8,250,000. The hearing is 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 19.

The training wage was removed for part-timers in the sheriff’s office. Deputy John Lindaman explained training can take 120 days, and the wage is $2 lower than the beginning wage. He said it is in competition with McDonalds in hiring. There is also an increase in overtime from current employees as the department works to hire people. Sheriff Ron Tippett added these are not positions where people can work from home.

The board also approved hiring two part-time correctional officers and discussed starting wages. Hired at $17.91 per hour were Ashleigh Trunkhill and Zackary Fisher.

Steve Fish was hired for full-time courthouse security.

A citizen called in with a complaint about dust control along his road in northeast Benton County.

They are working on estimates for concrete and asphalt for the parking lot at the transportation building and service center. They will have the estimates at Oct. 12 meeting.

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