Palo Alto County has a new face in the position of Integrated Roadside Vegetation Manager, following action by the county's Board of Supervisors Tuesday morning, Aug. 28. The board also heard a request for a tax abatement during the weekly meeting at the Palo Alto County Courthouse.
Joe Neary, County Sanitation Officer, reported to the board that interviews had been completed for the vacant IRVM post, which became open after the resignation of Tim Stowell, who accepted a similar position in his home county.
"After advertising, we received seven very good applications," Neary explained. "We ended up interviewing three people, and it is my recommendation to hire Kent Malm of Emmetsburg for the position."
Malm owns Quality Services in Emmetsburg, a business engaged in property care, among other services.
"I offered Kent a salary to start of $30,000," Neary continued, "and after six months, on March 1, 2013, an additional $1,000 and then at the start of the next fiscal year on July 1, 2013, the salary would go to $32,000. His hiring would be effective Aug. 28, with your approval."
"I think you've made a good choice," Supervisor Leo Goeders commented.
Supervisor Ed Noonan moved to approve the hiring and following a second from Goeders, the hiring was approved on a 4-0 vote, with Supervisor Jerry Hofstad absent and not voting.
In other business, Palo Alto County Treasurer Mary Hilfiker appeared before the board to present a request for suspension of property taxes by William and Mary Tabor of Mallard. The couple requested a suspension of the property taxes on their residence in Mallard, citing a provision in the Code of Iowa allowing for a suspension of taxes if a property owner receives financial support from the State of Iowa.
"If the taxes on this property were to be suspended, they are not forgiven," Hilfiker explained. "They are held in abeyance and if the property is ever sold, they would become owed and payable at that point."
According to the Treasurer, the taxes amounted to $228.
"Under Chapter 427.9 of the Code of Iowa, in order to be eligible for suspension, the financial support must go to the property owner," Hilfiker continued. "In this case, a grandson of the couple is receiving financial support from the Department of Human Services. The Tabors actually have three grandchildren living with them, but just one of the grandchildren receives financial support from the state."
Hilfiker explained she had checked with the Department of Human Services regarding the financial support and the DHS case manager who works with the youth confirmed that it was actually the grandson, and not William and Mary Tabor, who was actually receiving the financial assistance through DHS.
"With that in mind, based on the Iowa Code, the request of the Tabors cannot be granted," Hilfiker explained.
On a motion by Supervisor Ron Graettinger and a second from Noonan, the request was denied on a 4-0 vote of the Board.