MAHASKA COUNTY — In order to comply with recommendations from the Iowa Department of Public Health and the governor, the Mahaska County Board of Supervisors meeting on March 23 allowed for community participation via teleconference.
Those who attended the meeting in person made attempts to stay at least an arm’s length away from each other.
Following a public hearing – there were no comments, either written, in person or over the phone – the supervisors approved the fiscal year 2020-2021 budget.
The proposed tax rates per $1,000 taxable valuation are 6.37 for urban areas and 10.192 for rural areas.
According to Iowa Code, open meetings are required to give the public 24-hour notice before the meeting.
Mahaska County Attorney Andrew Ritland said if it is necessary to hold a meeting with less than 24-hours’ notice, the board would need to state the justification for the emergency meeting – and the reasons should be in the minutes of the meeting. Additionally, he said notice should be provided for emergency meetings as much as possible.
Deputy sheriffs wage schedule
The wage schedule was briefly discussed by the supervisors before approval. The supervisors had met in a work session with Mahaska County Sheriff Russel Van Renterghem recently.
Van Renterghem said during the meeting, it was discussed having the autonomy to start a certified or experienced deputy higher on the scale.
“We talked about in the meeting having the autonomy to start a certified guy or experienced guy up. In Iowa, you can’t have more than a year experience without being ILEA certified,” he said
Van Renterghem said he “would never” start anyone on the top half of the scale.
“I just wouldn’t do that,” he said. “I wouldn’t do that out of respect for the deputies who’ve been here – the Randy Poes; the Doug McMillans – who have been here for a very long time.
James Arment, who was hired by the Oskaloosa Police Department in September of 2018, was hired as a Mahaska County Sheriff’s Deputy.
Other board business
• An agreement for police protection between Mahaska County, the Sherif and the city of Rose Hill was approved for one hour per year at $42 an hour.
• Tax sale certificates for 401 Stuart Street and 107 Stuart Street were assigned.
• Mahaska County Secondary Road’s five-year construction plan was approved.
• Participation in analysis and alignment for the proposed southeast connector as well as a long-range planning study proposal including both northeast and southeast connectors was approved. Supervisors Chair Mark Groenendyk said the cost would be $16,000, or approximately 1/3 of the cost of the study, and would be paid for out of the rural basic fund.