Subject to Board of Supervisor’s Approval

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Editor's note: Iowa Law has a set of requirements that must be met before public officials are allowed to close meetings to the public.

You will read that the Supervisors voted to close this meeting to discuss COVID and whether or not to keep the courthouse limited. County Attorney David Thompson assured the Auditor that he would find the code for closing the meeting to the public citing "security." However, at the time of this publication, Iowa Code has not been cited which would apply.

This is a link to the Iowa law which addresses closed sessions.

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February 2, 2021

The Benton County Board of Supervisors met in regular session with Supervisors Seeman, Bierschenk and Primmer present. The meeting was called to order at 9:00 a.m. at the conference room at the Benton County Service Center. Members of the public were provided the zoom access capability to join in during open session and livestream at https://www.youtube.com/bentoncountyiowa. Unless otherwise noted, all actions were approved unanimously. Summarized Resolutions will be available in the Auditor’s office and at: www.bentoncountyia.gov

Bierschenk moved/Primmer seconded: To approve minutes of January 26, 2021. Motion carried.

Primmer moved/Bierschenk seconded: Approve tree removal quote at Benton County Service Center to Graham’s Tree Service. Motion carried.

Primmer moved/Bierschenk seconded: To appoint Group Benefit Partners as broker for insurance policies. Motion carried.

Phil Borleske and Allison Hicks presented the FY22 Historic Preservation Commission Budget. They also discussed various grants.

Benton County Sheriff Ronald Tippett, Mark Johnson, Jerry Michael, Ted Paxton, Shelby Chekal and Brandi Lewin (via telephone), presented the board information regarding Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) Coordinator with four counties (Benton, Clayton, Delaware and Jones). SART is looking for $13,000 in funding per county. This project will introduce crime victims and witnesses to more support and resources in our communities. This would be eventually a 28E Agreement with the four counties. Board decided to put this item on next weeks agenda for a formal request of FY21 budget.

Office space in the basement of the courthouse was discussed. Land use/Sanitarian’s office is wanting to take over the GIS Room for an additional employee starting in March. Greenlee discussed use of the GIS Room for his office in November with the Board. GIS Room is used by various other departments. Luke Blood, Juvenile Probation Officer, stated he prefers to stay in the courthouse, his network/IT system connects in thru the Clerk of Courts network. Supervisor Primmer asked if Blood’s office could be moved into the Supervisor’s office so he could be located next to the clerk of court and his office be the new GIS Room. The supervisor’s location would be permanently moved to the Service Center. Supervisor Seeman asked if he could go through the basement with the affected department heads in the afternoon to get a game plan together.

Opening the Courthouse to the public regarding COVID-19 was discussed. County Attorney David Thompson stated that he recommend that the Board go into closed session to discuss this matter. Auditor Rippel questioned what code section to put the closed session under. Thompson stated it is completely legal to go into closed session regarding COVID. Thompson stated he would get the code section to the Auditor, he doesn’t have the Iowa Code memorized and would have to look it up.

Primmer moved/Seeman seconded: To enter into closed session with Thompson giving Auditor Rippel the code section later. Motion carried. No exemption was provided as required by Iowa code 21.5(2).

Primmer moved/Bierschenk seconded: to enter back into open session.

Primmer moved/Bierschenk seconded: to extend the COVID policy for the next 60 days, to restrict the public and appointments and review again on April 6, 2021. Motion carried.

Primmer moved/Bierschenk seconded: To approve the appointment of John Lindaman as Chief Deputy for the Sheriff Office. Motion carried.

Bierschenk moved/Primmer seconded: To approve Resolution #21-16, Approving the Final Plat of Frimml’s First Addition to Benton County, Iowa. Motion carried.

Board discussed clarification on insurance renewals. Board requested that Katie Schmidt come back in and discuss insurance renewals with them further and answer and additional questions that the board might have.

Primmer moved/Bierschenk seconded: To adjourn. Motion carried.

_______________________________

Tracy Seeman, Chairman

ATTEST: _________________________________

Hayley Rippel, Benton County Auditor



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