By Natalie Conrad
Herald Staff Writer
County officials are beginning their busy budgeting season, with meetings in the next few weeks.
So far, there have not been many surprises for the Clinton County Board of Supervisors. The auditor’s office presented its budget Wednesday with few significant changes, except a pay increase for township officials.
The budget recommendation was a result of a wage study from 11 counties, similar in size to Clinton County, including Cerro Gordo, Muscatine and Warren. The change involves removing the current hourly rate and replacing it with a per meeting rate of $20 for each township official. Township clerks receive special consideration with an additional wage of $10 per month for $120 per year for the extra work they perform.
This recommendation addresses the wage increase issues expressed by the township officials. It also takes into consideration the extra work and time by the clerks that was pointed out by township officials, according to Auditor Eric Van Lancker.
With the above consideration, this budget line request increased from $5,500 to $6,480. That is an increase of $980, nearly 18 percent.
As a result, the General Supplemental for Townships will also increase by $71 to $496 (16.7 percent). The IPERS line will increase by $194 to $579 (50 percent).
This approved proposal reflects a total increase of both township budgets of $1,245.
Other significant changes involve bringing the county offices up-to-date on software. After six years of using the same software, the offices are in need of an upgrade costing $265,000. To accommodate for the expenses, $100,000 was shifted from the 2014 information technology budget to the 2015 budget. The new software will not be implemented until spring 2014, according to Supervisor Brian Schmidt.
Budget presentations on conservation, mental health, case management, general assistance, historic preservation, county attorney and more will be held next week.