Board of health budget concerns brought to supervisors

Kalani Steinmetz | Staff Writer

At the Lyon County Board of Supervisors’ meeting May 29, public health administrator, Melissa Stillson, brought concerns from the board of health about its budget. Due to misinterpretation of financial roles as far as signing timesheets and providing documentation, the board of health has decided to move under the umbrella of General Public Health. Stillson stated she would like to oversee the sanitarian position and grant specifics. She also stated people were granted signatory rights over items they should not have been given power to sign. 

“I feel there needs to be consistent accountability across the board.” She also deliberated with the sanitarian position being paid salary instead of an hourly wage. She does not believe the current sanitarian fits certain qualifications that allow him to receive a salaried wage, such as working the number of hours necessary to receive salary and being a supervisor over a different position. The board fears the position would become unfavorable to those who qualify to do the job. Stillson suggested adding extra duties to the sanitarian position to meet the number of hours necessary to meet salary. 

County supervisor, Steve Michael, said, “All five of us sit here with extreme angst about the potential of whether its change for change sake or whether it’s additional schooling Joel (the sanitarian) would have to do or additional responsibilities or loss of a few dollars an hour. I think we all sit here with this angst about Joel potentially leaving and what are we going to do? Because we remember how stupid-hard it was to find somebody to take this job.” 

The board of supervisors and Stillson came to the conclusion the board of health needs to take a year to research other options and perform more cost analyses before making a final decision about the position. 

Other business

• The board conducted a public hearing to approve budget amendments and appropriations for the 2018 fiscal year. The total increases and decreases due to the amendment settled at $110,271. Select departments were increased due to the budget amendment, while the board control-casino appropriation decreased.

• Kim Wilson, director of Northwest Iowa Care Connects, discussed mental health and disability services improvement strategies as well as the budget and impending projects.

• A public hearing date was set for June 11 at 9:30 a.m. at which time the board may approve an amendment to the development agreement with Cooperative Farmers Elevator.

• Appointed supervisor Mark Behrens to the Northwest Iowa Regional Housing Authority.

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