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Plans pushed back on law enforcement center

VINTON – The Benton County Board of Supervisors last Tuesday heard the schedule has been pushed back for its new law enforcement center. The old center was torn down after it was damaged in the flood of 2008.

According to board minutes, Jerry Petermeier, project coordinator, Marc Greenlee, sanitarian, and Rob Peck and Todd McNall of Design Dynamics, met with the board regarding the installation of a geo-thermal heating and cooling system at the center. There had been some question as to the type of geothermal system being considered and other systems available, the effect on the aquifer and the possible impact on current public wells in the area, including any contamination concerns.

Supervisor David Vermedahl questioned the status of the grant that the auditor applied for from the Iowa Department of Energy Independence. The auditor advised that the grant would have been approved for approximately $200,000; however the grant would require that the entire project comply with the Davis-Bacon Act. Compliance with Davis Bacon would increase the overall cost of the project by $300,000 to 400,000 dollars, which exceeds the amount of the grant and therefore is not to the county’s advantage. The auditor explained that it was her understanding that FEMA would not reimburse for the additional costs incurred due to Davis Bacon compliance.

The architects also advised that the timeline for putting the project out to bid was going to have to be pushed back to the first of March with bids being due March 25. The auditor advised that if the county wanted to levy for debt for the project in the next fiscal year, that the necessary procedures had to be adopted and certified to her no later than April 1, and cautioned that the timeline is beginning to get pretty tight.

Supervisor Ron Buch indicated the county was going to have to borrow money for the project. The auditor stated that without estimates of the project cost it was difficult to determine the amount needed.

In other business at the board meeting, the board appointed Mary Sumy as a Veterans Affairs Commissioner to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Ambrose Gibney.

The also approved the following sheriff’s employees.

Amy Sue Benson – Part-time Matron – effective February 9, 2010, at $12.17 per hour

April Saunders – Full-time Communication Specialist – effective February 9, 2010, at a wage of $15.99 per hour

Mark Christy – Reserve Officer – effective February 9, 2010, at a wage of $18.28 per hour

Brian Randall – Reserve Officer – effective February 9, 2010, at a wage of $18.28 per hour

Clint Sandburg – Reserve Officer – effective February 9, 2010, at a wage of $18.28 per hour

The board terminated the contract between Benton County and John Delaney, effective March 3, 2010, for snow removal and cleaning services. The snow removal duties had been removed from the contract on January 26, 2010.

Representatives of the Atkins Library met with the board to request support for a Vision Iowa CAT grant. Richard and Donna Scheer, Ralph Savoy, and Dick Lange explained the progress that has been made towards the construction of a new library. A non-profit organization has done extensive fund raising and is applying for a CAT grant that requires support from the county.

Buch explained that the fund that providing money to Blairstown is no longer being done by the county. The county used to provide $10,000 per year to be distributed as grants through Benton Development Group; however last year the $10,000 grant program was discontinued and the funds given to Benton Development Group for operational costs.

The auditor stated the county had recently agreed to give Belle Plaine $1,000 per year for 10 years for their swimming pool and a CAT grant.

The board accepted the retirement resignation submitted by Mary McLaughlin, effective March 31, 2010.

The engineer requested approval to purchase a used excavator that his department has been renting over the past several months. The board approved the engineer’s request to purchase a used Komatsu excavator at a cost not to exceed $72,849.00.

The board continued working on the FY11 budget, which primarily included discussion on possible options to reduce expenses to the general fund.

UPDATED February 17, 2010 11:16 AM

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