Supervisors Mull Over Wage Increase For Upcoming Fiscal Year

Oskaloosa, Iowa – The Mahaska County Board of Supervisors met in regular session on Monday, December 2nd, 2019 inside the 3rd Floor Conference Room of the Mahaska County Courthouse.

The Board heard from weed commissioner Ben Hoskinson as he presented his required report. The report was accepted, and will now be given to the State of Iowa.

The Board heard from Evan Del Val, who presented the County with documentation to close out the pipeline installation. There were a total of 148 punch items identified in the County. “All of those have been taken care of,” explained Del Val.

There was a single notice of violation that has since been taken care of.

The Board approved the acceptance of documentation from the consulting company.

The Board considered quotes on purchasing a tandem axle dump truck with the snowplow package for $210,000. The purchase was approved.

The Board then considered a recommendation from the Compensation Commission, which had met on November 21st, 2019.

That recommendation included a 3 percent increase to county employee wages for the next fiscal year.

The Supervisors discussed other obligations, such as the cost of health care that continue to increase by an approximate $400,000.00 next year.

The Board discussed to either go with the Compensation Board recommendation and make employees pay more for health care. “We’re not the richest county in the State,” said Mahaska County Supervisor Mark Groenendyk.

“It’s very hard to give a 3% raise and take 6% back for the health insurance,” added Mahaska County Supervisor Steve Wanders.

The debate came down to giving employees a raise and then requiring the employees to pay more for their health insurance or to keep the pay the same, and cover the cost of health insurance increase.

Ultimately the Board of Supervisors approved the 2.5% wage increase but with the understanding that employees will have to pay more their health insurance.

The Board of Supervisors then began the discussion on budget expectations for the fiscal year 2020/2021.

Groenendyk said that the budgets appear that there will be no increase for department budgets in the coming fiscal year, citing the cost of labor as a major challenge for the budget.

In other action, the Board:

*Approved the November bills
*Approved payroll changes for Courthouse maintenance.

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