Work begins on next year’s county budget

Benton County Courthouse

By Jim Magdefrau

VINTON – Work on the 2023-24 budget started on Tuesday, Jan. 10, as the Benton County Board of Supervisors met with county offices and agencies at the Jan. 10, 2023 meeting in Vinton.

At the meeting at the service center, budgets were discussed for recorder, transportation, department of human services (DHS), treasurer and Veterans Affairs.

Recorder – Lexa Speidel said her budget has not changed much. Wages are proposed to increase 3 percent.

Transportation – Dean Vrba said they are looking at replacing a vehicle. Since Amazon entered the shipping business, it makes it more difficult to find the chassis for a transportation vehicle. It will take time to get a new van. The director is looking at 4.6 percent wage increases, based on national averages.

DHS – They are looking for increases in wages and office supplies.

Benton County Treasurer – Melinda Schoettmer met with the board on the treasurer’s budget. Office equipment will increase. They are looking at new counters. She explained the impact of statewide titling on county offices. They also approved her semi-annual report.

Veterans Affairs – The department proposed a wage increase of 8.7 percent. Cara Martin, director, said this was the Consumer Price Index (CPI). There is an increase for meetings and burials. As of May 2021, when she started, 384 veterans received $509,972 in benefits in Benton County. As of October 2022, Benton County had 407 veterans receiving $591,631. She has started a “Veteran of the Month” recognition program.

Other business

Emily Parker and Melody Kosobucki talked about Riverview Center’s annual funding and budget request. They requested $4,000.

Tracy Achenbach of East Central Iowa Housing Trust Fund gave an update and funding request for next year. This is a community-based non-profit organization dedicated to improving quality of life within Benton, Iowa, Jones and Washington Counties. They requested $5,387 in local match. Overall they are seeking $18,000 from the four counties.

A land use hearing was set for Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023, at 9:15 a.m. for Tanner and Lyndsey Davis for land in Section 22, Taylor Township.

Vacation carryover was approved for Engineer Myron Parizek.

George Haefner was appointed weed commissioner. Supervisor Richard Primmer abstained.

Members were appointed to the solid waste commission. Appointed were Nancy Jensen, Jon Kaestner, Amy Boddicker, Terry Hertle, Jennifer Zahradnik, Erika Hodgson and Supervisor Tracy Seeman.

The county’s medical examiner and deputies were approved. Examiner is Dr. Brian Meeker. Deputies are Elana Janss-Johnson, Tyler Henkle, Braxton Morrison, Kim Koeler-Rayman, Katie Stetzel, Amanda Seiler and Mindy Icenbice. Their terms end Dec. 31, 2024.

Township officials were appointed for Cedar, Fremont, Homer, Kane, Monroe and Union townships.

  • Cedar- Larry Moody, Clerk and John Lee, trustee
  • Fremont-Andrew Jones, Clerk and Daniel Massman, trustee
  • Homer-Randy Schirm, Clerk and Don Callahan, trustee
  • Kane-Michael Silhanek, Clerk and William Selken, trustee
  • Monroe-Leland Schrader and Gary Reed, trustee
  • Union-Dean Werner, Clerk and Jacqueline Werner, trustee

Benton County Attorney Ray Lough met with the board regarding courthouse security and the compensation board.



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