Supervisors approve budget amendment

By Kate Klimesh,

At the Tuesday, May 30, Winneshiek County Supervisors meeting, a public hearing on the 2022-23 Budget Amendment was held. The budget amendments were to represent the year’s spending more accurately across various departments, including the Attorney, Recorder, Roads, Conservation, Board of Health, GIS, IT, Mental Health and miscellaneous county spending. The budget mendment was passed unanimously.

Amendment specifics

The County Attorney hired a full-time county employee instead of billing hours for the Administrative Assistant from his firm’s practice, for an additional expense of $2,000 in labor and an added $8,520 in employee benefits and insurances. This is already budgeted for the next fiscal year.  

The County Recorder’s Office had more staff take health insurance than anticipated, totaling an additional $4,300 in staff benefits spent in that office.

Roads funds were simply shifting funds for projects to the 2022-23 budget year based on the completion date of the project, to the tune of $1,521,351 in previous year’s funding that was spent in this current budget year.

Winneshiek County Conservation amended their budget to reflect the increase in donations given and grants received that had not yet been spent in this current budget year, for a total of $47,739 less spent in their current budget year.

The Board of Health added $55,900 to their budget, with much of that being CARES Act funding received in previous years that was spent in this budget year. 

GIS and IT added $6,200 to their budget for added personnel in the office working on GIS. Much of that was office furniture and a computer for the added position, along with employee benefits for the extra staff person. Costs toward the application to INS for a staff member to extend their work visa were also included in this amendment.

The county amended their budget to move an added $377,500 toward the 911 Communications Tower project, following a refund of ARPA money from a watershed project. Winneshiek County Auditor Ben Steines noted the county was still spending ARPA funds and Opioid Litigation funds they had received in previous years. 

Since the State of Iowa took over full funding of Mental Health, there was a balance of $254 that was leftover at the end of the year, which was then redistributed.

Other action

The county approved adding an insurance benefit for their employees for one year at a cost of $22.92 per employee per year. It would provide 24/7 support for counseling, including six sessions with a counselor, life coaching, legal, financial consultation and crisis response in addition to many other resources and educational opportunities to support employee wellness. The board will assess after one year and analyze usage.  

It was also reported that the Annex roof had been patched, which bought some time as they assess best strategies moving forward for roof repair.  

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