Laehn’s workload keeps growing

Greene County assistant county attorney Thomas Laehn once again is saving county taxpayers’ money.

Laehn talked with the county supervisors on Monday about a waiver Ahlers & Cooney PC asked the supervisors to sign allowing the firm to work on behalf of both the county and the Greene County Community Schools in preparing the 28E agreement needed for the county’s participation in funding the regional career academy.

Laehn advised the supervisors not to sign the waiver, and said that his office would represent the county. He said it would save the county money, and that he thought it was best in case there were disagreement in drafting the agreement.

“We’ve got the ability to represent ourselves, so it makes sense, in money, cost, and business,” supervisor board chair John Muir said.

Laehn said he looks for Ahlers & Cooney to write the first draft because they have more expertise in the matter.

Laehn is also researching what the county’s responsibility is to provide ambulance service under Iowa Code. Dennis Morlan and Greene County Emergency Medical Services have for decades provided ambulance service under a contract with the county. Morlan has announced his retirement effective July 1.

Under agenda business, Laehn submitted a policy for handling public records requests. The county has incurred thousands of dollars of expense in fulfilling public records requests in the past four months, Laehn said.

The policy sets costs for photocopying and allows the county to charge for the actual cost of employee time spent retrieving the record after the first 60 minutes. The policy calls for the person making the request for public records to prepay the expected expense if it exceeds $100.

The supervisors will discuss the policy with department heads, including other elected officials, to get input about rates and fees in the policy.

Along the same line of thinking, the supervisors only informally approved a request from sheriff Jack Williams for overnight travel for himself, three deputies and a transport officer. In the past, the board has approved those requests. At Monday’s meeting Muir pointed out that Williams, as a department head, has the authority to approve those requests, and assuming they’re included in his budget, the supervisors don’t have authority to approve or disapprove.

County zoning coordinator Chuck Wenthold reported receiving notice of a construction permit application from John and Libby Towers doing business as Towers Pork Site for two new 2,496-head swine finisher buildings. The site is in Highland Township, section 30. Scoring of the master matrix is scheduled for Monday, April 23, at 9 am. A public hearing will be held Monday, April 30, at 9 am.

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