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Conference Board Approves County Assessor’s Budget

February 27, 2018
by Dan Voigt , Emmetsburg News

A budget totaling $303,844 was approved for the Palo Alto County Assessor's Office following action by the Palo Alto ?County Conference Board Tuesday, Feb. 20. The budget included a 2.5 percent salary increase for County Assessor Lois Naig and her staff, in line with raises granted to other county employees earlier in the month.

In a meeting on Jan. 30, Naig presented the Board with her proposed budget for the fiscal year 2017-2018 requesting a nine-percent increase over the 2017 budget amount of $292,139. In doing so, Naig pointed out that Palo Alto County is rated 80th in the state for pay of the county assessor.

"I am asking for the 3.8 percent increase in pay plus an additional $3,500," Naig said. "This will still put Palo Alto County paying $6,600 less that the average in Iowa."

Following discussion at that time, it was decided to give the County Assessor the 3.8 percent wage increase plus an additional $1,000.

However, in Tuesday's meeting for the final adoption of the budget, Naig presented her budget with a different line item for salaries, reflecting a 2.5 percent raise, in line with what was approved by the Board of Supervisors for other elected officials, and negotiated with the county's Secondary Road Employees' Union.

"The budget with the 2.5 percent for the Assessor's salary is now $61,880, and the salary for office manager and clerk is now at $44,267," Naig advised the Conference Board members.

Coupled with a 9.44 percent increase in the county's share of IPERS contribution (Iowa Public Employees Retirement System) and health insurance, the budget totals $303,844 for fiscal year 2018-19.

School Board delegate Pete Hamilton of Emmetsburg asked about the county's health insurance plans, and was advised on the two options available to county employees.

"Right now, there are only eight counties that pay full insurance for county employees,"?noted County Supervisor Linus Solberg.

"Actually, we were just told there are 12 counties that do,"?Supervisor Keith Wirtz added.

"Do you self-insure at all?"?Hamilton asked.

"We do, just a small bit,"?replied Supervisor Craig Merrill.

Supervisor Chair Ron Graettinger then offered a motion to approve the Assessor's budget, as presented, with the 2.5 percent salary increase. The motion received a second from West Bend Mayor Marilyn Schutz and on a roll call vote, the Supervisors voted aye, Mayors voted aye and School Board members voted aye to approve the budget unanimously.

Members of the County Conference Board are the members of the Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors, Mayors of the incorporated cities and towns in Palo Alto County and representatives of the four school districts in Palo Alto County.

Attending Tuesday's meeting were Supervisors Ron Graettinger, Craig Merrill, Linus Solberg, Roger Faulstick and Keith Wirtz.

Also in attendance were Emmetsburg Mayor Myrna Heddinger, West Bend Mayor Marilyn Schutz, Cylinder Mayor Arnold C. Heng and Mallard Mayor Jim Gehrt.

Representing the School Boards were Dawn Schmidt of the West Bend-Mallard Community School District and Pete Hamilton of the Graettinger-Terril Community School District.



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