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Logan County Board tentatively drafts non-union salary increases, Meister resigns, new committee appointments

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[August 22, 2014]  LINCOLN - The Logan County board met on Tuesday night to vote on issues discussed on Thursday the 14th. In addition to voting, a resigning board member was recognized for his efforts.

Non-Union county employee raises for 2014-15

As part of the creation of the 2015 fiscal year budget that begins Dec. 1, 2014, a motion was made out of the Finance Committee to provide a three-percent increase to the non-union salary line items in the offices under the county. These raises cannot be mandated for individuals by the County Board, but are to be distributed by the office holders to their employees; the board can only increase the line item specifically, while the office holders decide how the money is spent. In total, this would cost $52,400. The motion passed unanimously.

This three percent raise to the line item follows a four-percent raise last year, and one percent raises the year before. Chuck Ruben said four years ago, the county was unable to give any raises at all.

It was also noted that the budget is still in an early draft form and subject to change.

In addition, the County Board voted unanimously to transfer $70,000 from the County Farm account to the Buildings and Grounds account under the current budget. The measure is to help pay for urgent county building repairs.

The County Board also unanimously approved an increase in the rent paid by the city of Lincoln for use of the Safety Complex; the increase brought the lease to $35,000 annually.

Board member resigns

Board member Andy Meister announced his resignation from the county board. Meister will be moving out of his district in Mt. Pulaski, which is why he is resigning. Chairman Robert Farmer presented Meister with a plaque, and the board members thanked Meister for his time and dedication to the board and applauded Meister as he received his recognition. Meister joined the county board in 2010.

“I wanted to thank everybody, especially the people on the board prior to me, for guiding me and welcoming me on the board. It was an interesting experience, something that is nice when you’re fresh out of college, when I ran. You really get to feel like you have a say-so, and like you’re bettering the community,” said Meister.

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Meister added that he will be staying on the Tourism Bureau Board, which he first entered as a county liaison.

By recommendation of board chairman Bob Farmer, and by approval of the board, Andy Anderson will replace Meister on the Road and Bridge and on Airport and Farm Committees. For Road and Bridge he will serve as chairman, which gives him a seat on the county board’s Executive/Economic Development Committee.

David Blankenship was recommended and approved to replace Meister on the Finance Committee.

Finally, Emily Davenport was appointed to the Regional Planning Commission.

Courthouse elevator repairs

In recent months, the Buildings and Grounds Committee discovered that the elevator at the courthouse needs a series of upgrades in order to meet regulations. Jan Schumacher, on behalf of the Buildings and Grounds Committee, brought forward a motion to accept a bid from KONE Elevator Services to repair and upgrade the elevator for a cost of $131,072. The bid was approved unanimously.

In addition, Schumacher added that another company will need to come in to continue work on the elevator system, which will require another approval from the board.
Eleven board members were present at the meeting: David Hepler, Rick Aylesworth, Chuck Ruben, Gene Rohlfs, Robert Farmer, Jan Schumacher, David Blankenship, Pat O’Neill, Andy Anderson, Andy Meister and Emily Davenport. Kevin Bateman was absent in order to attend an Up in Smoke meeting.

[By Derek Hurley]

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