Budget hearings for Des Monies County continued Tuesday, with proposed requests from departments costing taxpayers an extra $80,000 if approved by the board of supervisors.
Local health requests $128K in new spending
The Des Moines County Health Department asked the supervisors for an 18 percent increase of $128,000 in its property tax asking for its general fund in Fiscal Year 2021, despite decreasing its budget by $255,000.
While the department's proposed budget for FY 2021 is down $255,000 from this fiscal year, the department no longer will be responsible for administering a $300,000 grant used for hospital and trauma services. The county will receive the funding, but Public Health no longer will administer it.
The department also is seeing a decrease in other methods of funding.
A decrease in Medicare and Medicaid dollars also play a substantial role in decreased revenue. Medicare dollars for nursing decreased 53 percent, and Medicaid dollars decreased by 24 percent. This accounts for $20,000 in decreased revenue.
A bulk of the $128,000 in new spending would be split between personnel costs and the loss of extra money from administering the bioterrorism grant. The department plans to hire one new employee to do health outreach.
Treasurer to yield seven times more net revenue
The Des Moines County Treasurer’s department is expected to bring in seven times more net revenue in FY 2021 than it did in FY 2020.
The treasurer’s office routinely brings the county more money in fees than it spends in operating expenses. In FY 2020, the department was expected to bring in just more than $5,500 dollars in excess revenue. However, for FY 2021, Treasurer Janelle Nalley Lonquist estimates the county will bring in a little more than $43,000.
“The interest rates are good,” she explained.
One of the county’s accounts, the account at Mediapolis Savings Bank, is expected to bring in $16,250 more in revenue than it did last year. A second bank account is expected to bring in an additional $11,000 in interest.
On the expenditure side, most of the numbers remained the same. The cost of employee wages went down $10,000 from last year because last year’s numbers included an employee payout. Employee wages increased according to their union contracts that were signed last year.
Lonquist also asked for increases for her one of her deputies. Deputies of elected officials are not on the union contract and instead are paid a percentage of the elected official salary they work under. A 2 percent increase has been recommended by the compensation board and, if approved by the supervisors, would mean all elected officials and their deputies would receive a 2 percent raise.
Gina Beckman, Lonquist’s second deputy of motor vehicles, is paid 70 percent of Londquist’s salary. Under Londquist’s proposed plan, Beckman’s salary would increase by less than $2,000 to 72 percent of Londquist’s salary.
The cost to the county for Federal Insurance Contributions Act and Iowa Public Employee Retirement Service decreased by $7,000.
Veterans affairs costs remain fixed
Save for a few hundred dollars in salary increases, and the corresponding FICA and IPERS increases, the budget for veterans affairs will remain static for FY 2021.
Veterans Affairs is in charge of providing financial assistance to veterans in need. This assistance comes in the form of rent assistance, food assistance and burial assistance.
"It's not only a service to the community buy a service to the nation," Broeker said.
Director of Veterans Affairs Bob Housewright said the department assists 50 veterans each month. Already this year, the office has aided with the burial of five veterans. Housewright said his department may need to file a budget amendment as he only has 25 percent of his funeral budget remaining with five months left in the fiscal year.
The county receives $10,000 from the state to pay for veterans assistance. The county pays the rest, about $65,000. Of that, $30,000 goes to administration. The remaining $45,000 goes to help veterans.
County continues to help shelter
The domestic violence shelter will continue to receive $3,000 from the county.
The shelter, which is operated by the YMCA, helps men and women from throughout the region get temporary housing to get away from their abuser.
About one in three women and one in four men are victims of intimate partner abuse. This abuse can be physical, verbal, sexual or financial. Children in households in which intimate partner abuse takes place are more likely to be abused.
“A lot of times, men don’t want to admit it is happening,” supervisor Jim Cary said.
Budget talks continue at 9 a.m. today with the sheriff’s office, jail and county attorney's office.