Supes OK FY20 budget on 3-1 vote

Treasurer moving funds to net more interest

After a public hearing with no comments from the public, the Greene County supervisors approved the budget for Fiscal Year 2020 (begins July 1, 2019) on a 3-1 vote. Supervisor Tom Contner voted against the budget; supervisor Peter Bardole was absent.

The resolution approving the budget followed a resolution to approve the compensation schedule for county elected officials. Per the recommendation of the compensation board, elected officials will receive salary increases ranging from 8.62 percent for the auditor to 2.96 percent for the treasurer. The supervisors will receive a salary increase of 3.6 percent, about $1,000 per year.

Contner voted against the resolution. He has voted against salary increases for the supervisors several times during his tenure as supervisor.

When it came time to vote on the resolution for the budget, he voted no. He said he voted no against the budget because the raises are part of it. “I’m all for the budget but I’m against the raises,” he said. “This happened once before. I voted against the raises and I voted for the budget and people gave me hell for that.”

During the treasurer’s report for February Katlynn Mechaelsen told the supervisors she has transferred the balances in three Home State Bank accounts – two of which were earning .15 percent interest and one of which was earning no interest – to a Peoples Bank account that’s paying 1.61 percent. She’s looking at the interest and at the number of separate accounts. Using fewer accounts will make monthly reconciliation easier, she said.

Also, some of the funds are received for driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations; the state pulls its share from the Peoples account monthly. “Why not earn some interest on that money that’s not really ours for 30 days instead of putting it in a .15 percent account,” she said.

She also in March took “a significant amount” out of a Wells Fargo account paying .15 percent and put it into an Iowa Public Agency Investment Trust (IPAIT) account that pays 2.176 percent. “There’s no risk with IPAIT….. That 2.176 compared to .15, I feel like that’s a no-brainer,” Mechaelsen said.

Mechaelsen has updated the format of the information the supervisors receive in the monthly treasurer’s report, making it easier to track funds and interest paid. The county has earned $21,719 in interest July 1, 2018 through Feb. 28, 2019.

She asked for an investment committee composed of auditor Jane Heun and supervisors John Muir and Dawn Rudolph to meet monthly to discuss where money is deposited. The supervisors have appointed members to an investments, finance and insurance committee every year at its organizational meeting. For 2019, Muir and Mick Burkett were appointed to the committee.

Mechaelsen said she has started training to be able to issue driver’s licenses.

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