Wayne County Board of Supervisors
June 1, 2020
Meeting of the Wayne County Board of Supervisors was held on the 1st day of June 2020, in the Boardroom of the Wayne County Courthouse, Corydon, Iowa, pursuant to notice duly given in
compliance with Iowa Code Section 21.4. The Board noted due notice of meeting subject to said Code Section.
Present were David Dotts, Tom Swearingin, Don Seams; members of the Board, Keith Davis, Shelley Bickel, Jen Reed, Michelle Dooley
Unless otherwise noted, all motions were approved unanimously.
Dotts called meeting to order at 9:03 AM
Pledge of Allegiance
Seams made motion to adopt the agenda, seconded by TSwearingin.
Seams made motion to approve minutes from May 18, 2020, seconded by TSwearingin.
TSwearingin made motion to approve claims, seconded by Seams.
TSwearingin made motion to approve payroll, seconded by Seams.
Shelley Bickel, Public Health Director spoke on behalf of Bill Byrns, EMA & 911 Director. Byrns is requesting approval to apply for the EMPG Grant Supplement. Byrns was currently delivering election equipment to polling locations. Homeland Security (FEMA) has allocated funds to State of Iowa for Wayne County in the amount of $4,400 for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) relating to COVID-19. Wayne County will be required to front $8,800 for purchases before being awarded the $4,400 Supplement Grant. Byrns arrived and also presented that he would be applying for additional grant funding to help cover the remaining $4,400. Bickel stated that Public Health has been sharing the PPE with the different entities in the county. Byrns will be purchasing PPE from the same supplier used by the Hospital. TSwearingin made motion for Byrns to proceed with applying for EMPG Supplement Grant and gave approval to spend $8,800 on PPE related to COVID-19, seconded by Seams.
Randy Zerr, County Engineer and Dan Carpenter, Assistant Engineer presented to the Board that two checks totaling $146,914.48 were received from FEMA for culvert and rock replacement from the 2019 floods. The last project is the two low water crossings. They are waiting on DNR to approve permit for crossing. Calhoun & Burns has submitted four (4) service agreements to be signed and forwarded to Iowa DNR for their approval. Once approved design planning for Medicine Creek can begin, but not sure when the actual construction will begin. Zerr is trying to contact Norris Asphalt regarding the HMA resurfacing (Allerton Pavement) to get a timeline for the project. Bridge deck and approaches are done north of Promise City but the contractor is finishing up guard rails, sandblasting and some other work. Contractor is still within their allotted time to finish project. Twin reinforced concrete box culvert on Edison is done and it is open back up. Theft of rock and obstructions in the right-of-way is still occurring, Engineer Zerr is documenting and working with Sheriff’s Office.
Zerr handed out copies of the Engineer’s Office Benefits Policy draft that included redline changes recommended by Jack Reed, Iowa Negotiation Consultant Services. This draft had been sent to Al Wilson, County Attorney for his review. Zerr stated he would be following up with Wilson for his comments and approval of policy. Seams asked for an opportunity to review the policy since this was the 1st time seeing this draft. Seams also referred to a number of conversations dating back to July 2019 and forward. Seams referenced to a change of sick payout policy for Secondary Roads and Engineer staff. Employees are only allowed to carry 960 hours of sick leave under the new policy. Any Secondary Road/Engineer Office employee who had over 960 hours of accrued sick leave at the time of the policy change received a payout. The sick payout occurred on Feb 21, 2020 payroll by motion made by the Board and the Unused Sick Leave Maximum Accumulation Clarification Policy was approved March 23, 2020.
Seams referenced conversations that were held during budget work sessions with Engineer’s Office on January 27th, 2020 after the regular Board meeting. Zerr offered to author the policy and the Board agreed that Zerr could author the policy if approved by Mr. Reed. Zerr referenced back to the Board meeting held on March 23, 2020 when Mr. Reed called in by phone due to the Courthouse closed to public because of COVID-19. Seams kept reiterating that he had not seen the policy and wanted time to review. TSwearingin stated the Engineer’s Office Staff may receive 5% pay increase for FY21 contingent upon the staff agreeing to forgo the 40% sick payout at the end of their employment to be used for health insurance. This benefit was a benefit to Secondary Roads Department and not for employees who fall under the Wayne County Handbook. Seams questions why Engineer staff do not fall under handbook. Dooley restated the comment made by TSwearingin regarding the 40% payout in exchange for the 5% pay increase because it is an unwritten, unspoken benefit that has been practiced for at least 10 years. Then Dooley also stated Engineer’s office staff accrues vacation and sick leave at the same rate as Secondary Roads Department which is a different rate than employees who fall under the handbook. And in the past, there has been special consideration given to Engineer’s Office Staff. The purpose for the policy is to provide consistency and clarity to everyone in writing. The policy is not changing any of the current practices. Zerr also stated, The State Auditor’s Office has questioned these benefits for a number of years when performing the County audit and his goal is trying to be in compliance. Seams then quizzed those in attendance on the definition of a policy versus a contract. Seams is concerned that the policy draft is a contract since it is requiring signatures of both the Board and Engineer. Zerr agreed to remove his signature to make it policy.
TSwearingin made a motion to approve the Engineer’s Office Benefits Policy as presented with Al Wilson’s approval, seconded by Dotts.
Seams then wanted to continue to discuss the option for Engineer’s Office staff being able to convert sick leave to vacation resulting in an additional 15 days of vacation. It would take 7.5 years for that to occur. Seams still requested additional time to review policy and continued to ask additional questions regarding how Sheriff’s Office and New Venture employees fall under the Wayne County Handbook. TSwearingin and Dotts was still firm in their motion and second. Seams then stated that Zerr is under contract. Seams then questions why the policy refers to positions that the Engineer’s Office does not currently have and Seams would like the policy to be adjusted in the future as the positions are needed and added. Dotts reminded everyone of the motion and a second and asked for the vote.
Seams Nay, reason; Not given time to review policy.
Dooley requested that when the policy is signed to include the Board member’s vote and to be effective July 1, 2020. Seams was encouraged to take concerns to Al Wilson & Jack Reed.
Linda Fain, New Venture Director was not present. Fain has not made a decision regarding new staff member.
Dotts read different feedback and questions he has received from the public regarding the doors of the courthouse being locked. Other businesses are open. Eye Doctors are open. Courthouse is owned by tax dollars. Keith Davis wants to know the threshold for reopening the courthouse. TSwearingin states all the departments must do what is best for their office. Angie Horton is concerned and continuing with split shift through June. Kim Swearingin is taking appointments only. TSwearingin stated doors can be unlocked but the Board cannot tell Elected officials how to run their office. Seams says the public can go to any other businesses but cannot come into the one building they own. Davis is encouraging unlocking the courthouse and getting back to normal. Dooley encourages recommending but not mandating the wearing mask because it would be impossible to enforce. TSwearingin stated the Treasurer’s office has been down one employee and that they are just now back to full staff and working hard to meet the needs of the public. Dotts anticipates the Court Systems ramping back up. Seams stated people need valid ID’s to perform other business transactions. TSwearingin stated Treasurers office is working on the oldest expired IDs and working forward.
Dotts made motion to unlock the doors on Monday, June 8, 2020 and the public is encouraged to follow the Iowa Public Health Department and the Requirements of the County Offices they are visiting, seconded by Seams. All Board members voted Aye.
Individuals are reminded to call the County Office that they are needing to do business with.
TSwearingin stated that Shelley Bickel is working on FEMA grant regarding the COVID-19 and will include the cost of remodel for relocating offices. Seams wants to know how the remodel relates to COVID-19. TSwearining explained that the Recorder’s Office is requesting a permanent glass shield for her office. Relocation of the Auditor’s Office allows the Treasurer’s Office to expand so that the 6-foot social distancing can be practiced and that offices need a second door for emergencies. Dotts and Seams wants to see what is FEMA’s response is before moving forward with remodeling. County will have to cover the initial cost with hopes of being reimbursed through the FEMA grant. There was discussion regarding how the County is financially sitting. TSwearingin asked Dooley what the General Basic Fund balance is? General Fund balance is 1.9 million. Also, there was discussion about the state backfilling Rural Service Basic Fund. TSwearingin stated that the remodel is peanuts in the big scheme. The Board is questioning how future tax collections will go. TSwearingin is concerned about local county government regionalizing. TSwearingin wants Wayne County to be considered as the Seat if counties go to regionalization. That is the purpose behind Wayne County making the investments in the county’s infrastructure. If the remodel is approved it may be fall before a contractor is able to do the work because of timing.
Wayne County Public Health recommended the couch and love seat on the 1st floor be removed because of the COVID-19. The Board does not support getting rid of the furniture but has temporarily relocated. Dotts stated these conditions are not going to last forever. Seams asked if furniture is a health risk? Dotts & TSwearingin does not view it as a health risk but could not ensure that it was properly cleaned throughout the day.
Dooley presented Cash and Outstanding report. General Basic, General Supplemental and Rural Service Basic fund balances are all over the 25% -50% threshold set by the Board. Dooley is concerned that because tax collections are down that the allocation of tax dollars from Rural Service Basic to Secondary Roads Fund may not be met in FY20 but we should be ok with meeting the DOT requirement of county local support. TSwearingin made motion to accept Cash & Outstanding Report, seconded by Seams.
Seams discussed Milestones and the Wayne County Senior Meal Site Board. The Wayne County Senior Meal Site Board is going to see if there is a contract with Milestone. Seams will be meeting with Darin Relph at the Hospital to discuss other options for feeding the elderly. Seams is trying to visit with Pam Taylor, Milestone Director but unsuccessful. TSwearingin suggested a meal ticket for participants to present to hospital or other local restaurants. Seams stated that currently a lot of the allocation is being spent on overhead of running the facility rather than providing meals. The hospital currently providing some meals but is losing money on the program and there is a shortage of volunteers to deliver meals.
Seams also attended the Courthouse Security meeting. Wayne County is in favor of opening the court system backup. The Wayne County Magistrate Court is currently opened. Iowa Workforce meeting discussed the 28E agreement and the Bi-laws for consolidating with Area 6. Seams also attended CROSS meeting and discussed the Access Center. The Access Center is not meeting expectations. The situation is now being discussed with the lawyers.
Dotts attended the TAC/Policy meeting with Chariton Valley Planning & Development. Nicole gave updates on different programs and the 5-year plan.
TSwearingin attended 1015 Transit meeting. The Board is moving forward with taking over the Ottumwa Transit system. Eight out of nine drivers from Ottumwa Transit was hired by 1015. 1015 Transit System is financially stable. TSwearingin also attended Wayne County Conservation meeting and the Board has agreed to let David Lewis trim trees at the Corydon Lakeside Park. Also, TSwearingin attended Wayne County Public Health, Dr. Wells is nervous about opening events up to big crowds. Several local committees are asking for opinions regarding summer activities and events. Also, the Board wants the public to know they have no intention of closing New Venture when Linda Fain decides to retire.
No Public Comments
Claims paid June 1, 2020
TSwearingin made motion to adjourn at 11:20 AM, seconded by Seams.
The Board will meet in session on the 8th day of June 2020 at 9:00AM for the 2020 Primary Election, County Canvass.
David Dotts, Chairperson Michelle Dooley, County Auditor