Ed Noonan of Ayrshire will lead the Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors for 2014 after the board reorganized on the first business day of the New Year, Thursday, Jan. 2. Supervisor Linus Solberg of Cylinder was elected to serve as vice-chair of the board for the coming year.
In their first action, the Supervisors introduced and approved several resolutions for Palo Alto County Engineer Joel Fantz. The resolutions included designating Fantz as the county's authorized agent to execute the certification of completion of work and final acceptance with plans and specifications in connection with all Farm to Market and Federal Aid construction projects in Palo Alto County. Also introduced and approved was a resolution authorizing Fantz to close secondary roads for scheduled construction projects, as well as closing roads temporarily under special circumstances such as maintenance or natural disasters. Additionally, a Right-Of-Way compliance agreement with the Iowa Department of Transportation was also introduced and approved by the board members.
After some discussion, the board introduced and approved a resolution approving financial depositories for County Recorder Bonnie Whitney in the amount of $100,000 at Iowa Trust and Savings Bank and for County Sheriff Lynn Schultes in the amount of $300,000 at Iowa Trust and Savings Bank. The Supervisors also designated Wells Fargo Bank and Laurens State Bank in Emmetsburg as authorized depositories for amounts not to exceed $15 million in county funds each by County Treasurer Mary Hilfiker. Additionally, Hilfiker was authorized to deposit up to $20 million in the Iowa Trust and Savings Bank in Emmetsburg.
Tim McCain of Emmetsburg was re-appointed to act as the county's Tax Agent for the upcoming year. The five newspapers published in the county, "The Reporter" and "The Democrat" of Emmetsburg, as well as the combined "West Bend Journal," "Graettinger Times," and "Ruthven Zipcode" were designated as official county newspapers for legal publications during the year.
Board members then began making their assignments for the coming year. Supervisor Craig Merrill was re-appointed to the Cherokee Mental Health Advisory Board, with Maureen Sandberg as alternate. Keith Wirtz was re-appointed to the Seasons Center Board and ISP Board with Merrill as alternate to both boards. Ron Graettinger was re-appointed to the Regional Mental Health Governance Board for the coming year.
Ed Noonan received re-appointment to both the R.I.D.E.S Board while Linus Solberg was appointed to the Northwest Iowa Consortium Board with Merrill as alternate. Solberg was also appointed to the North Central Emergency Response Commission.
Keith Wirtz was re-appointed to the Iowa Drainage Advisory Board with Noonan as alternate, and Craig Merrill was appointed as the Supervisors' liaison to the County E911 Board with Solberg as alternate. Merrill was also appointed to the Third Judicial District board and Graettinger was re-appointed to the Decategorization Board, while Keith Wirtz was re-appointed to the county's H.I.P.A.A. Compliance Board.
Supervisor Ron Graettinger was re-appointed to serve on the Upper Des Moines Opportunity Board and the Compass Point Board, with Linus Solberg as the alternate to both boards. Craig Merrill was appointed to the Enterprise Zone Board, while Ed Noonan was re-appointed to the Central Iowa Juvenile Detention Center Board, with Merrill as his alternate and Miriam Patton was re-appointed to serve on the Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Board, along with Keith Wirtz.
Palo Alto County Auditor Carmen Moser informed the board members that the hourly rate for Township Trustees had been unchanged for several years at $8 per hour. With little discussion, the Supervisors set a new rate of $10 per hour for trustees, plus mileage as allowed by the Internal Revenue Service, for Township Trustees' compensation, and set a minimum payment of $20 for meetings of the trustees. Additionally, Dick Stafford was appointed to fill a vacancy as a trustee in Ellington Township, filling the position formerly held by the late Dennis Schumacher. A vacancy for a trustee in Vernon Township remains to be filled, following the death of Monte Thompson last Fall.
The re-appointment of Dr. Frank Veltri to the County Public Health Board for a three-year term was approved, along with the re-appointment of Dr. Patricia Banwart as the County Medical Examiner for a two-year term. The Supervisors also approved the re-appointment of Tim O'Leary to a three-year term on the county Planning and Zoning Board of Adjustment and the appointment of Dan Chism of Emmetsburg to fill a vacancy on the county's Eminent Domain Compensation Board, which was created by the death of Paul Freeman. However, appointments to the Mental Health Appeals Board, County Conservation Board and Planning and Zoning Board were tabled after discussion by the supervisors.