February 23, 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.

Primmer moved/Bierschenk seconded: To set land use hearing date for Matt and Tiffany Rolling for Tuesday March 23, 2021 at 9:15 a.m. for part of SW ¼ SE ¼ Sec 25-85-9. Motion carried.

Primmer moved/Bierschenk seconded: To approve minutes of February 16, 2021. Motion carried.

Primmer moved/Bierschenk seconded: Approve payroll checks numbered 141747 through 141764 ACH deposits numbered 44510 through 44648, vendor checks 238022 through 238029, claims numbered 238030 through 238152. Motion carried.

Bierschenk moved/Primmer seconded: To approve and sign cost-share Grant Contract Amendment for the WMA Watershed. Motion carried.

Primmer moved/Bierschenk seconded: To set public hearing date for FY22 Budget on March 23, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. Motion carried.

Ben Bonar met with the board to request to advertise to hire two seasonal truck drivers and one intern for the Weed Department. Currently the seasonal truck drivers are making $16.50/hour with the 3% wage increase that the board approved would make it $17.00/hour. Interns wage is based off higher end of wages for seasonal conservation. Currently the intern is making $13.79/hour. Bonar is wanting some leeway for the intern position depending of qualifications on the applicant, he is asking $14.00-15.00/hour for the intern position.

Primmer moved/Bierschenk seconded: To approve to advertise to hire two seasonal truck drivers at the starting wage of $17.00/hour and one intern with starting wage of $14.00-15.00/hour, for the Weed Department. Motion carried.

Ronald Tippett, Scott Hansen and Ben Bonar discussed use of old transportation building. Tippett stated there is an EMA trailer, mass causality shelter trailer, enclosed trailer, generator and two light towers that he would like to house at the old transportation building. The trailers are being stored outside, the generator is stored in a building at the sheriff’s office and light towers are stored in a small garage building. Storage for these items does not need heat. There is three big tractors from Secondary Roads that are currently being stored outside that Bonar would like to see stored at the old Transportation building as well. Hansen stated he tests the generators once a month and has not been able to do so since December because of the snow. Tippet stated he and Hansen will work with Bonar to share use of the old transportation building for the tractors and trailers. It was questioned if the county still needed to have flood insurance on the building if these items were stored in the building. Hansen stated his opinion is the county is moving an office because of flooding then everything that is stored in that building should be mobile so it can be moved quickly in the chance of a flood.

Ronald Tippett gave an update on SART funding request for FY21. Jones County has been appointed to be the payee for the project. SART is requesting $4,333 for funding from March thru June 2021.

Primmer moved/Bierschenk seconded: To authorize $4,333.00 for FY21 funding for SART program subject to 28E Agreement. Motion carried.

Supervisor Seeman presented costs of walls for the Service Center offices. Seeman stated there is no way they can reuse the existing walls. They will have to make them all new similar to what was made for the Access room. The estimate is $1,540.74 using the old doors. Seeman is uncertain if the old doors will be able to be reused at this time. Seeman is looking for guidance/opinions since the taxpayers bought the current walls. Supervisor Primmer stated it works to have the rooms divided and to get-r-done and questioned if the old walls can be sold on Facebook Marketplace. It was questioned who would post the items on Facebook Marketplace. Adrieonna Hennings from the Access Point volunteered to do this for the board.

Primmer moved/Bierschenk seconded: to proceed with estimate for Service Center walls. Voting aye were Primmer and Bierschenk. Seeman abstained from voting since he will be doing the work. Motion carried.

Allison Hicks and Phil Borleske presented information to the Board on behalf of the Historical Preservation Commission to fill out their annual CLG Report.

Primmer moved/Bierschenk seconded: To approve and sign the2020 Certified Local Government (CLG) Annual Report for the Historical Preservation Commission. Motion carried.

Primmer moved/Bierschenk seconded: To approve utility permit for Central Iowa Power Cooperative in Kane and Union Townships to move power line poles to South side of Highway 30 from 12th Ave to 22nd Ave. Motion carried.

County Attorney, David C. Thompson, discussed the Board of Supervisors meeting of February 2, 2021 with the Board. Lori Siela, Ben Turnis, Melinda Schoettmer and Lexa Speidel were also present. Thompson presented two options to the Board to “correct our prior action”. Option 1: Use Iowa Code 21.9 Employment conditions discussed. A meeting of a governmental body to discuss strategy in matters relating to employment conditions of employees of the governmental body who are not covered by a collective bargaining agreement under chapter 20 is exempt from this chapter. For the purpose of this section, “employment conditions” mean areas included in the scope of negotiations listed in section 20.9. to keep the closed session exempt from Chapter 21 Official meetings open to Public (Open Meetings.) under advise of counsel. Option 2: Open up the closed portion of the meeting and release minutes to the public.

Discussion regarding these options were but not limited to the following: Supervisor Primmer stated “in my opinion we should give it a code section.” Thompson stated what we have been doing has not been decreasing the stress and some of the anxiety around this issue. Supervisor Seeman stated, “I agree with you 100%, to get to move forward here all I wanted to know is the code section.”

Discussion moved onto minutes taken on February 2, 2021, Supervisor Primmer stated he would like corrections made to the minutes. He would like removed “Opening the Courthouse to the public regarding COVID-19” because we are open to the public but certain offices are by appointment only. He also wanted “Landuse/Sanitarian’s office is wanting to take over the GIS Room for an additional employee starting in March”, changed to state that the Landuse/Sanitarian’s office appeared to remind the board that they were given consent by the board in November for the use of the GIS Room for an additional employee starting in March.” Gina Edler stated the reason the minutes were published prior to boards approval was per code section: 349.18 Supervisor’s proceedings – each payee listed – publication. (3)a. The county auditor shall furnish a copy of the proceedings to be published,

within one week following the adjournment of the board. It was brought to our attention we were in violation of said code section in order to rectify the situation the minutes were sent to publication that day.

Primmer moved/Bierschenk seconded: to use Option 1 under advisement of legal counsel. Motion carried.

Primmer moved/Bierschenk seconded: to approve minutes of February 2, 2021, subject to a couple alterations and minutes to be reprinted. Motion carried.

Farm lease and communication issues with the Attorney’s office was discussed. Board of Supervisors made a motion to direct the County Attorney to draw up the farm lease contract on February 9, 2021. Thompson stated that the Board of Supervisors cannot direct the County Attorney to do anything, they can ask for his help but they cannot direct him to do anything, just the same he can’t direct them to do anything. Further discussion took place with Supervisor Seeman asking Thompson if he would make up the farm lease contract. Other communication issues were discussed.

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


Tracy Seeman, Chairman

ATTEST: _________________________________

Gina Edler, Benton County Deputy Auditor

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