County clarifies pay increases

First step taken on vote to make EMS an essential service

By Jim Magdefrau

VINTON – Further explanation was given by the Benton County Board of Supervisors to approve salary increases of 7 percent for county employees. That pay raise was approved at the board’s meeting on April 22, when the board approved the budget for next year. At that time, the board also said that the raises can be given if the money is in each department’s budget.

The meeting was at the conference room of the service center in Vinton.

The board clarified the motion made in last week’s meeting regarding increasing the prior approved a 5 percent increase to reflect a 7 percent increase to all employees leaving the previously mentioned exceptions as is: Jessica Meyer to $23 an hour, Deb Cummings – $44,000 a year, Ben Turnis – $96,000 a year and Justin Birker to receive 90 percent of the maintenance director’s salary.

At the close of the meeting, the board also discussed the impact on ongoing union negotiations for secondary roads.

Essential service

The board approved declaring Emergency Medical Services (EMS) as an essential service. Anna DeMuth of North Benton Ambulance and president of the Benton County EMS Association, explained the system standard they have planned for forming an advisory committee. They will work on getting meetings lined up. She said education is the key in getting this passed. They hope to have a vote in November. Auditor Hayley Rippel did the first reading of the resolution, based on 422D.1 of the Iowa Code. This ensures efficient and effective EMS coverage for the area.

The second reading is May 2. They discussed the process of choosing members for the committee. The board approved the first reading.

The resolution reads:


A resolution by Benton County to declare emergency medical services (EMS) to be an essential county service as authorized by Iowa Code Section 422D.1.

WHEREAS, Benton County supports EMS to its residents.

WHEREAS, ensuring efficient and effective EMS coverage is essential for maintaining the health and welfare of its residents.

WHEREAS, in order to be able to efficiently and effectively provide EMS to its residents, the Board of Supervisors will proceed with the process under Iowa Code Section 422D.1 to declare emergency medical services as an essential county service in order to allow an ad valorem property tax for EMS and the creation of a county emergency medical services system advisory council to assist in researching and assessing the service needs of the county and guiding implementation of the same.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, Benton County hereby declares emergency medical services to be an essential county service.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, Benton County directs that notice of the first meeting to consider this resolution be made and any other actions be taken as necessary to proceed with the process under Iowa Code Section 422D.1 to declare EMS be an essential county service.

Other business

A land use hearing was set for May 23 at 9:15 a.m. for Cory Haney, for land in Parcel A in Section 15, Polk Township.

A public hearing was held for Geno Source Dairy Site. They are planning to increase the number of cattle at the site south of Blairstown. There was no comment from the public. The board approved the plan and it was signed by the board chairman.

The board acknowledged the resignation of Hunter Jensen from the weed department.

Cara Martin of Veterans Affairs met with the board. The board approved having her attend national training.

Mona Onken and Mae Hintgen met with the board, Sheriff Ron Tippett and County Attorney Ray Lough regarding an update of the memorandum of understanding between Benton County and the East Central Region Council of Governments regarding mental health. They also talked about use of the Community Services Network (CSN) in dealing with clients, as well as confidentiality. A decision is planned for the May 2 meeting.

Clay McBride with McBride Mobile Taps discussed a vending machine waiver. He operates a food trailer. A letter from the local county can support the waiver allowing him to operate in Benton County. The board advised him to send a letter to the county. They will probably approve a one-year waiver.

Rick Wood of maintenance received approval to purchase a lawnmower.

The board approved changing Bayley Grubic’s employment status from part-time to full-time in the sheriff’s office.

Benton County Engineer Myron Parizek received approval for a utility permit for Alliant Energy in Florence Township. The board also acknowledged Scott Gladson’s retirement from secondary roads.

Meeting video


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