County Administrator Roxy Traxler asked for, and received, permission to prepay some bonds and that prepayment is expected to save the county about $141,000 in interest payments to bond holders. General obligation bonds, totaling $3.555 million, were sold in 2005, to build a new law enforcement center. Bonds maturing on or after Feb. 1, 2014, are subject to redemption and prepayment on Feb. 1, 2013, and on any date after that, at a price of par plus accrued interest. The resolution that was passed said it was in the best interest of the county for bonds maturing on Feb. 1 in the years 2014 through 2019, to be prepaid and redeemed on Feb. 1 of next year. The principal total of the remaining bonds is $1.97 million.
The board passes resolutions each quarter to accept donations and gifts to the county. For example, there was a donation of $75 to the sheriff’s chaplaincy program, as well as a donation by the Princeton American Legion post of $1,200 for a van used by area veterans. There was also a donation of $900 of fill material for C.R. 112 from Gerald Herges. Commissioner Dan Whitcomb questioned the volume of fill material donated by Herges. County engineer Bruce Cochran said he would get that information. Whitcomb also asked if Herges sells gravel to the county and was told that he does. Whitcomb said he was worried about a conflict of interest. There was also a donation of $2,000 by the Benton Telecommunications Foundation. That donation was actually a grant to the county’s Community & Veterans Services Department to be used for providing items to people in need.
Annual payment made to Milo Township for county’s use of township cemetery
Commissioners approved an $800 payment, made annually to the Milo Cemetery Association, to be used for cemetery upkeep, for that cemetery being designated as the county cemetery.
Raises for nonunion employees set at 1%; insurance contribution rates set for 2013
County Administrator Traxler recommended pay rates of one percent for 2013. Commissioners approved the request. For example, someone at the A pay grade who makes $13.17 per hour after 10 years of employment will go to $13.46. Someone at the L grade making $23.83 per hour,after five years will go to $24.43. An employee at the V grade making $48.10 per hour after eight years will go to $49.23. Commissioners also set the 2013 monthly medical insurance contribution for nonunion employees at 98 percent of the $15 copay plan for single coverage, and $850 toward family coverage, with employees paying the difference based on the plan selected.
Public Works projects complete for 2012
County engineer Bruce Cochran told commissioners that road projects scheduled for this year have been completed. He also reported that work has been done on County Ditch 14, in accordance with a motion passed at the previous board meeting, but that the contractor had found a lot of bad pipe, as Cochran and others expected. He said the pipe is 100 years old and that every two feet of bad pipe costs the county $50. “There’s a lot of things against us here,” he told commissioners. There are plans to inspect the county’s entire ditch system and to come up with a plan for repair and/or maintenance.