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No shortage of new county staff requests

WORTHINGTON — Nobles County commissioners began the often daunting task Tuesday of reviewing department budgets for the 2015 fiscal year.

While reviewing the proposed budgets, it was noted that a few departments asked for additional staff. The county has been under both a wage and hiring freeze in recent years.

While no formal decisions can be made during a work session, the requests were taken under advisement.

With changes in the abatement and forfeiture programs and other extensive duties, Nobles County Auditor-Treasurer Beth Van Hove summarized her department’s proposal for an additional part-time employee.

“I think it (extra staff) would just allow me the time to do some of those things (abatement and forfeitures),” Van Hove began. “We could get out of what I feel is a hole.”

Van Hove also noted that with her limited number of staff, scheduling vacation time has been difficult due to the workload of each employee.

“I’ve got a gal who’s eligible for, just this year, 288 hours (of vacation). She’s taken 51 hours and we’re three-fourths of the way through the year,” she said. “She’s never going to get what she earned this year because of her length of service — she’s been here 30 years.”

“I mean, she can’t take what she earned this year, let alone the time she’s never been able to take in previous years,” continued Van Hove.

“I do honestly feel, even though I’ve only been here about 11 months now, the amount of work they have to accomplish doesn’t allow them to get out of the office.”

Van Hove requested a three-fifths time employee at a salary of $25,901. She added she’d be willing to share an employee with another department if needed.

The assessor’s office submitted a request for a full-time assessor with an annual salary of $47,184. Community Services requested increasing a current four-fifths time social worker to full-time for an additional $8,810 per year. The recorder’s office also asked for a full-time clerical position at $43,168 annually.

The sheriff’s office has asked for two new full-time employees. The first, an assistant jail administrator, is required by statute; the second is a new deputy. The two would have salaries of $61,298 and $58,485, respectively.

Public works has proposed four new staff members. The positions of engineering aid and maintenance worker would be partially funded through state and federal reimbursements. Following the reimbursements, the salary cost to the county would be $14,956 and $14,559.

A request for a full-time grounds maintenance position was also made with a proposed salary of $45,862. Finally, public works asked for a part-time summer environmental position. The 560-hour position would receive a salary of $5,426.

Robin Baumgarn

Robin Baumgarn is a new reporter for the Daily Globe covering the Education and Northwest Iowa beats. Prior to coming to the Globe, she worked for the Ocheyedan Press-Melvin News, a weekly Iowa paper for three years. She is a 2012 graduate of Iowa Lakes Community College and lives in Northwest Iowa with her husband Ryan and three pets, Fidget, Missy and Samwise.

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