March 07, 2021

4% raise recommended by comp board

The Union County Compensation Board once again recommended a 4% raise for Union County officials, with the exception of the sheriff and the county attorney, during the Union County Supervisors meeting Monday in the Union County Courthouse.

Jim Norman, chair, brought the report to the board, explaining the compensation board’s decision.

“We don’t want to lose anybody,” Norman said.

Norman said with the new sheriff just starting, the board would prefer to wait a year before recommending a raise in order to see how he handles his budget and department.

With Tim Kenyon’s retirement, it is unknown what level of experience a new Union County Attorney would have. It is also possible that the position may need some adjustments if a qualified applicant cannot be found. Norman reminded the board there is still money in the budget to hire an assistant attorney as well.

For the past two years, the board members have accepted the compensation board’s recommendations but rejected the raise for themselves.

COVID-19 update

Union County’s 14-day positivity rate is 9%, but its seven-day rate is 11%. In the last two weeks, there have been 55 new cases in Union County, Emergency Management Director Jo Anne Duckworth said.

Out of a total of 1116 positive cases in the county, 999 have recovered. There have been 23 deaths.

Although the county is planning for phase 1b of the vaccine rollout on Feb. 1, no plan has been released for accommodating the newly authorized recipients. Duckworth said there is some discussion about using the Alert Iowa system to notify residents of vaccine availability.

If this system is used, residents would need to be signed up for it in order to be notified. More information on the system can be found on the Union County website under the emergency management department at https://unioncountyiowa.org.

Use of the alert system would be in addition to newspaper, radio and social media coverage, Duckworth said.

In other county business:

• Duckworth asked the board to sign a no cost change order to finalize the date for the emergency communication system, changing it from Dec. 30, 2020 to Feb. 26, 2021.

• the county has been offered a 300 kilowatt generator at no cost from the Creston City Water Works. The county would need to arrange to pick up the generator.

• the board passed a resolution to place a flashing yield sign on Townline Road at Osage Street.

The Union County Board of Supervisors meets weekly 9 a.m. Monday at the Union County Courthouse, 300 N. Pine St. The supervisors are still meeting in person at this time, but the public is encouraged to submit comments for public forum by mail, email or telephone to help limit the gathering to 10 participants.

REGINA SMITH

Reporter, columnist, teacher, children's book author, book store owner - Regina Smith has a wide range of experience in writing and education. She combines those interests and experiences to cover city and county government and human interest stories as well as writing a biweekly column in her home town of Creston, Iowa.