County finalizes FY18 budget, wraps up FY17

Board of Supervisors
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     The March 21 Jones County Supervisor meeting was all about finalizing the proposed Fiscal Year 2018 county budget and amending the Fiscal Year 2017 budget.

     The board approved a 25 percent reduction to the Compensation Board’s recommended elected official salaries. The initial recommendations were to set salaries as follows: Attorney, $94,547.74; Auditor, $65,268.99; Recorder, $60,512.45; Sheriff, $84,213.64; Supervisors, $28,973.51; and Treasurer, $63,158.15. With the 25 percent reduction, salaries were estimated at: Attorney, $93,530; Auditor, $64,492; Recorder, $59,931; Sheriff, $83,211; Supervisors, $28,695; and Treasurer, $62,551.

     Supervisor Wayne Manternach was opposed.

     The board approved the adoption of the county tax levies. Total expenditures come to $20,020,611. Total revenues come to $18,478,901, against a $1,004,998,851 valuation. A rural tax levy of $1.9 million was set, against a valuation of $730,689,042.

     Countywide levy dollars will increase by $94,412, but the countywide levy rate decreases by about 7 cents per thousand dollars of taxable value. The rural services levy increases by $61,624, with the tax rate increasing by about 2 cents per thousands dollars of taxable value.

     The board approved the adoption of the FY17 budget amendment. State law requires this when proposed reductions are in excess of 10 percent of $5,000 of the original appropriations. The original appropriation for Juvenile Services was $41,250. The total reduction is $15,115, to reflect a reduction in the need for county-paid services for juveniles. The appropriation was $171,029 for Conservation Capital Projects. The proposed reduction is $21,565 to reflect a change in the timelines for various department projects.

In other county business:

     • The board approved the re-zoning of a parcel in Lovell Township, owned by Roger Stephen, from A-Agricultural to C-1-Commercial.

     No objections were reported.

     Tiqua Anderson, the owner of a greenhouse business on the property, said she plans to open the business within the first or second week of April.

     Land Use Administrator Michele Lubben said while the Ag zoning allowed for a greenhouse on the property, it did not allow for a retail greenhouse business.

     The board approved a notice to bidders for Secondary Road pavement markings. The county engineer will accept sealed bid until 3 p.m. on Friday, March 31. The notice includes 15 working days, with a late start date of June 19, 2017, and $200 a day of liquidated damages.

     The cities of Monticello and Anamosa reimburse the county for pavement markings done within the city limits as part of this project.

     Manternach gave the board an update on the latest Board of Health meeting. He said the state is asking to reclaim $8,000 from Jones County from a grant the county was awarded to help pay for the salary of the Public Health Coordinator (Jenna Lovaas). Manternach said the reasoning behind the decision stems from the county’s frugal spending of the grant thus far.

     “Next year,” stipulated Manternach, “we’ll continue to pay Jenna’s salary, but allocate the rest to the home-nursing program because it’s a non-profit organization.”

     The $8,000 will be taken from the FY17 budget.

     “The state is leaving us enough of the grant to get us through the remaining fiscal year,” said Manternach.

     Supervisor Ned Rohwedder questioned by the state was taking the funds now, with several months remaining of FY17.

     “The state is short and this their way of cutting back,” proposed Manternach. He said Jones is not the only county affected.

     “Next year,” said Manternach, “we’ll just plan to spend it.”


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