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The Muscatine County Board of Supervisors met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Howard, Sorensen, Sauer and Bonebrake present.  Mather was absent. Chairperson Sorensen presiding.

On a motion by Howard, second by Sauer, the agenda was approved as presented.  Ayes: All.

On a motion by Sauer, second by Bonebrake, the Board approved Ordinance #01-23-17-01 Rezoning Certain Real Property in Fulton Township, Muscatine County, Iowa From C-2 Commercial District Zoning Classification to R-1 Residential District Zoning Classification on the third and final reading.  Roll call vote: Ayes: All.

On a motion by Sauer, second by Bonebrake, the Board approved the Muscatine County Treasurer's Semi-Annual Report for the period of July 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016 for publication.  Ayes: All.

On a motion by Howard, second by Sauer, minutes of the January 16, 2017 regular meeting, January 17, 2017 special meeting and January 19, 2017 special meeting were approved as written.  Ayes: All.


The Board received Notice that the City of Muscatine is in the process of renewing the urban renewal plan for the Consolidated Muscatine Urban Renewal Area.

The Board received the Muscatine-Mercer Revolving Loan Program Financial Summary as of December 31, 2016.    

Sauer reported several calls regarding gravel road conditions.

Howard reported contacts not wanting their taxes increased.

Howard reported a contact regarding issues between the Muscatine City Council and Mayor.

Committee Reports:

Bonebrake and Sauer attended a MUSCOM meeting January 18th.

Sauer attended a Muscatine County Conservation Board meeting January 16th.

Sauer attended a Riverbend Transit meeting January 18th.

Sauer attended a Muscatine County Fair Board meeting January 19th.

Howard attended an Emergency Management Commission meeting January 18th.

Planning and Zoning Administrator Eric Furnas updated the Board on progress with developing Zoning Ordinance amendments for inclusion of shooting ranges as a special use.

Discussion was held with Planning and Zoning Administrator Eric Furnas regarding the possible replacement of two trucks purchased in 2015. Furnas stated Wiele Chevrolet provided a quote of $12,800 and $13,000 for two new trucks after trade-in. Furnas stated Kriegers quoted $7,175 and $6,800 respectively. Furnas stated the brown topper on the higher mileage truck may not transfer over to a new truck because the color no longer exists. Furnas stated they may be able to paint the topper or find a truck color that will look alright with the brown topper. Furnas stated he would suggest buying white vehicles in the future which is a color that never changes. In response to Bonebrake, Furnas stated the topper was not included in the quote. Bonebrake stated a white vehicle does not retain its value as well as other colors. Howard stated the mileage is low enough that the truck replacement could be staggered by only replacing the one with the higher mileage this year. Bonebrake stated he agreed with Howard.

County Engineer Keith White updated the Board on road conditions stating the roads think its Spring, not January, and the County is seeing a lot of damage to the roads. White stated on a positive note, the slag roads are in much better condition. Sauer stated more consideration needs to be given to where hog confinements are placed because they affect the roads daily rather than grain operations which utilize the roads during a short window of time. Howard stated there needs to be a discussion about what responsibility these businesses should have in helping to maintain our roads. Bonebrake stated Muscatine County should feel pretty good about how our gravel roads are maintained as other counties to the south have worse roads.

On a motion by Bonebrake, second by Howard, the Board approved a grade change request to Grade 17, Step 13 for Dennis Michael due to attainment of professional licensure effective immediately.  Ayes: All.

On a motion by Howard, second by Sauer, the Board eliminated the part-time Food Service Worker position and authorized a full-time Food Service Worker position effective immediately.  Ayes: All.

On a motion by Howard, second by Bonebrake, the Board eliminated the part-time Jail Nurse position and authorized a full-time Jail Nurse position effective immediately.  Ayes: All.

On a motion by Bonebrake, second by Howard, the Board accepted the January 2017 payroll claims.  Ayes: All.

The Board recessed at 9:32 A.M. and reconvened at 9:40 A.M.

Emergency Management Communications and Emergency Management Director Matt Shook reviewed the FY17/18 budget requests for MUSCOM, E911 and Emergency Management. Shook stated the State wants to reduce the number of dispatch centers by half. Shook stated Muscatine County is large enough for MUSCOM to still be around. Shook stated port/subscriber fees budgeted at $159,000 were moved from the MUSCOM budget to the E911 budget, but E911 funding may not always be there in the future. Shook stated the proposed budget would require a levy increase of 6.879 cents. Shook stated the FY17/18 MUSCOM budget includes $46,899 for a new call taker position. Howard feels the call taker should be removed from the budget until the tenth dispatcher position is filled to see if the call taker is still needed when dispatch is fully staffed. Sorensen feels the call taker position would be performing receptionist duties for the police and fire department and the City of Muscatine should be paying for that service. Shook stated the problem is when you agree to do things without looking into the cost, they become unfunded mandates. Howard stated this has been a work in progress that has changed as it progressed. Howard stated when you get to the budgetary level, the City has two or three benefit streams that would be beneficial to residents of the County. Bonebrake stated the phone system's administration line should be reprogrammed to forward directly to the department and remove MUSCOM as an option. Shook stated that would be dangerous because emergency calls forwarded from other agencies in the County come through the administration line and you would need cooperation from all of the other agencies to enable the change. Howard suggested the MUSCOM Board consider removing the call taker position and requiring the City of Muscatine to pay for the position since the bulk of the calls answered are their calls. Shook cautioned that the County starts that process, the City may come back and decide to charge MUSCOM for the space it uses in their building. Bonebrake stated phones could be programmed to give more options allowing administrative calls to be sent to the correct department rather than going to dispatch and being transferred. Sauer stated he would suggest a department's calls go to a call group so that they can be answered in a department by any one of multiple people. Shook stated you may hinder quality of service because a call that gets routed to another department that turns out to be a call for service gets delayed getting to dispatch. Howard stated if the call taker position is eliminated, there will still be a shortfall in the budget. Sorensen stated MUSCOM needs to address the situation at some point in the future. Shook stated everything comes in and out of MUSCOM because if you eliminate MUSCOM out of the process, then you reduce quality of service. Howard stated he will continue to fight against the call taker position as a member of the Emergency Management Commission and will vote against the budget if the call taker position is included when it comes before the Commission. Shook stated that calls will continue to increase which will eventually increase staff.

Discussion was held regarding proposed capital projects for FY17/18 and beyond. Projects were presented and discussed individually by Budget Administrator Sherry Seright. Board consensus was to include the following in the FY17/18 capital projects budget: Administration Building Retaining Wall - $90,000; Courthouse 3rd Floor Courtroom Restoration Design - $50,000; and County Computer Software Upgrade - $105,000; Community Services Building Windows - $300,000; Engineer/Sheriff Office Parking Lot - $200,000; Engineer/Sheriff Office Connection to City Water - $150,000; and Historic Jail Exterior Stabilization - $70,000.

Board consensus was to place further consideration of the following capital projects under future budgets after FY17/18: Courthouse - 3rd Floor Courtroom Restoration - $750,000; and Courthouse - Addition of two HVAC units to the 3rd Floor Lobby - $20,000.

Discussion was held with Community Services Director Mike Johannsen regarding Senior Resources and its effects on his department. Johannsen stated the region buys services from Senior Resources in the form of senior daycare. Johannsen stated Senior Resources is the only agency that offers senior daycare. Johannsen stated the Board may want to consider issuing a letter of support to combine Senior Resources, Crossroads and Muscatine Center for Strategic Action to leverage administrative costs.

Discussion was held with Johannsen regarding proposed funding for Special Olympics, Y-Family Program Services, MCSA Shelter Case Coordinator and MCSA Shelter Services. Howard asked if Johannsen could equate what the County spends in relation to what is required by Code. Johannsen stated the County is not the big contributor when they are working on a case because he works to get funds from other sources. Bonebrake requested a detailed list of what the County is not paying because it is being paid by other parties. Johannsen stated the Y-Family Program is funded by the County through a monthly stipend. Johannsen stated Special Olympics funding is based on how many participate in Special Olympics so the funding by the County only gets spent if residents participate in the program.

The Board recessed at 12:15 P.M. and reconvened at 12:30 P.M.

The Board held ongoing discussion of the proposed FY17/18 Muscatine County Budget.

Budget Administrator Sherry Seright stated telephone expenses have been removed from each department in the Administration building and placed in the Information Services Department budget due to the purchase of a new phone system.

Discussion was held regarding funding for outside agencies to be included in the proposed FY17/18 budget. Board consensus was to fund outside agencies as follows: Wilton Library - $14,209; West Liberty Library - $14,209; and Musser Public Library - $115,089 with no capital outlay for the new building; Muscatine Legal Services - $22,170; River Bend Transit - $7,000; Senior Resources - $0; Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce & Industry - $10,000; Quad Cities First - $5,000; Wilton Development Corporation - $3,000; West Liberty Development Corporation - $3,000; Muscatine County Fair Board - $10,000 for their operating budget; up to another $20,000 match for debt reduction; and $5,000 for the third installment of a four year commitment; Convention and Visitors Bureau - $0; Eastern Iowa Tourism Association - $500. Board consensus was to fund General Assistance outside agencies as follows: Y-Family Program Services - $16,250; MCSA Shelter Case Coordinator - $26,087; MCSA Shelter Services - $27,085; and Special Olympics - $30,000. Board consensus was to fund Trinity Community Nursing through the Board of Health at $211,803.

Discussion was held regarding new positions requested in the FY17/18 budget. Board consensus was to remove the County Attorney Intern position and part-time position at Zoning from the proposed FY17/18 budget.

Discussion was held regarding proposed capital purchases. Board consensus was to include the following proposed capital purchases in the FY17/18 budget: 3 Squad Cars - Sheriff; SUV - Conservation; Boat Motor - Conservation; Equipment Trailer - Conservation; 1 Tandem Plow Truck plus snow equipment for 3 Tandem Trucks - Secondary Roads; Motor Grader - Secondary Roads; Medium Hydraulic Excavator - Secondary Roads; and two trucks - Zoning.

Budget Administrator Sherry Seright reviewed FY17/18 estimated General Supplemental levy options as follows: Option 1: Maintain the levy rate at $2.29 resulting in a 26% fund balance; and Option 2: Increase the levy rate to $2.36 resulting in a 29% fund balance. Option 3: Increase the levy rate to $2.42 to balance the General Supplemental budget. Seright stated a 13 cent increase to supplemental would be offset by a 11 cent reduction to the Debt Service levy and a 2 cent reduction to the MH/DD levy for an overall levy equal to the FY16/17 levy of $10.42. Board consensus was to budget proposed FY17/18 levies as follows: General Basic - $3.76 levy; General Supplemental - $2.43 levy; MH/DD - $1.05 levy; Rural Services - $2.54 levy; and Debt Service - $.64 levy.

The meeting was adjourned at 2:05 P.M.


Leslie A. Soule, County Auditor        Jeff Sorensen, Chairperson

Board of Supervisors