911 agreement adopted

Board of Supervisors votes 2-1 in favor of 28E agreement for 911 salaries and benefits

After months of preparation, the Marshall County Board of Supervisors joined three other partners in adopting a 28E agreement to oversee a levy for 911 employee salaries and benefits at Tuesday’s meeting.

“Big cities, little cities, unincorporated cities, farm people and people who just live out there: they all need 911, it’s important,” said Board Chairman Bill Patten on the resolution to adopt the agreement. “I feel we must pass this resolution and then move on.”

The board had tabled the item during the Nov. 28, 2017 regular meeting, and decided 3-0 to bring it “off the table” to discuss and vote on the resolution. With a motion by board member Steve Salasek and a second by Patten, the resolution itself passed in a 2-1 vote; board Vice Chairman Dave Thompson voted against the adoption.

“I cannot be complicit in supporting anything that is possibly going to lead to double taxation of the citizens of Marshalltown, and therefore I vote no,” Thompson said.

The agreement creates a commission to oversee a levy for an estimated $992,412 in 911 employee salaries and benefits. That cost has previously been split 62 percent to 38 percent between the city and county, respectively, since the 1980s.

The board joined the City of Marshalltown, the Marshall County Emergency Management Commission and the 911 Joint Services Board in adopting the agreement Tuesday. It was the final signatory required for the agreement to go through.

“Our intent has been that, if this new levy be enacted, that we remove the same dollar amount that we currently have in our budget so that it is a net zero effect to the property tax payers,” Thompson said. “We can’t force nor do anything with the other individuals who are in this agreement; that is their position to make their statements.”

Two citizens spoke on their concerns about transparency from the Marshalltown city government at the meeting, wanting to know how an estimated $580,000 budgeted for 911 salaries and benefits by the city will be used with the passing of the agreement.

“I don’t understand why we’re pushing, and why this is such a rush to do this,” said American Aluminum Seating Inc. part owner and county resident Jim Palmer. “I feel, at this moment, the city is pushing to get this agreement through without giving answers that have been requested.”

City resident and businessman Monte Eaton shared Palmer’s message that the issue should be postponed.

“There’s absolutely no reason not to postpone it until the city has their full council, they’re missing the second ward (councilor),” he said. “I personally think it should be postponed … there’s no loss of service, there’s no loss in personnel, there’s no loss in performance.”

However, Marshall County Emergency Management Agency coordinator Kim Elder said she needs to report her proposed budget to the local newspapers of record by Jan. 23.

“Our next meeting would be [Jan.] 23, so there would be no time for us to hold one more meeting to approve this, or disapprove it, before [Elder] would have to publish in the newspapers of record,” Thompson said.

In other business

The board approved an agreement between the county and Tyler Technologies Inc. for a software upgrade.

“What you’ve got before you today is the agreement to upgrade our existing accounting software,” said Marshall County Information Technology Director James Nehring. “Their new product is called Tyler Financials 10 … the total price would be $90,233; that would be broken into two separate piles.”

He said $51,000 of the total price accounts for up-front costs like installation and data conversion. The other $39,233 accounts for the annual subscription for five years, Nehring said.

“We have been scrimping and saving for this, this would be out of the existing budget,” he said. “It’s going to massively change how we operate here in Marshall County; the project will be a pain, there’s no two ways about that.”

However, Nehring said the upgraded software will save a lot of time for employees in several financial areas.

“We’ve got some big expectations, from the supervisor level all the way down to the staff level and how they receive their paychecks,” he said.

Also approved was an equipment purchase for the Marshall County Secondary Roads Department in the amount of $28,200.

“This is an attachment that will attach to our skid steer,” said County Engineer Paul Geilenfeldt of the tree mulching equipment. “It’s just going to be a really efficient way for us to clear right of ways.”

The date and time for receipt of bids on a Marshall County farm lease in Washington Township was set at Tuesday’s meeting; it will take place 9 a.m. Feb. 20 in meeting room No. 2 on the third floor of the Marshall County Courthouse.

The lease term is three years beginning March 1. More information can be found at the board of supervisors office on the third floor of the courthouse or online at www.marshallcountyia.gov under the “news” tab on the main page.

The next Marshall County Board of Supervisors meeting is set for 9 a.m. Jan. 23 in meeting room No. 2 on the third floor of the Marshall County Courthouse, 1 E. Main St.

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Contact Adam Sodders at (641) 753-6611 or asodders@timesrepublican.com