By DUANE NOLLEN
The Oskaloosa Herald
Three Mahaska County officials took the oath of office Wednesday as the Board of Supervisors met for the first time in 2013.
Judge Randy DeGeest administered the oath of office to Supervisor Mike Vander Molen, Auditor Sue Brown and Sheriff Paul DeGeest.
During the meeting, the supervisors gave Emergency Management Coordinator Jamey Robinson the green light to continue work on establishing a hazardous materials response team for Mahaska County.
Robinson and the supervisors began discussions of forming the hazardous materials response team in December. The supervisors wanted Robinson to look into issues such as workman’s compensation and liability insurance.
Robinson said he spoke to fire officials around the county and said things like payroll and workers compensation will stay within the respective departments. They will bill the emergency management office which will then bill the entities responsible for hazardous materials spills, he said.
“We’d do a 28E (agreement) with each department,” Robinson said.
Board Chairman Greg Gordy said the county would need a 28E agreement to take to Heartland for insurance matters.
Robinson said he needed the supervisors’ blessing to continue work on forming the Haz Mat response group and eventually a one-time expense of $85,000 to get operations going.
Vander Molen said the $85,000 would come from a tax levy.
Robinson said the money would come from a one year increase in the tax levy before going back down to normal levels.
Vander Molen added that the money could be recouped within four years.
Supervisor Ken Rozenboom made a motion to give Robinson permission to continue work on forming the Haz Mat group for Mahaska County, subject to final approval after legal and insurance issues are resolved.
In other action, the supervisors approved a Compensation Board recommendation for a 1.7 percent pay increase for county elected officials.
“The 1.7 percent is in line with the cost of living,” Vander Molen said. “I’m comfortable with the 1.7 amount.”
The supervisors also approved the reappointment of Peggy Wright and the new appointment of Linda Fox to the Mahaska County Conservation Board. Fox will complete the final four years of John White’s term on the board.
Herald Editor Duane Nollen can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org