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Richland County Board Meeting 12/8

The Richland County Board of Supervisors met for the final time in 2015 on Tuesday, December 8.

At the meeting the board approved a resolution that allows for the purchase of 26.4 acres of land in Section 9 of Richland Township for a sand pit for the County Highway Department. According to earlier estimations, there are roughly 1-million cubic yards of sand available within the site. The new pit was deemed necessary because the sand pit that the department has been using is nearly depleted. What makes the property appealing is the fact that it is located near the Highway Department, thereby reducing trucking costs. The sand obtained from the pit can only be used for county purposes, or sold to local municipalities for their uses. It may not be sold to private or other business operations. After an appraisal process, the county and landowner can negotiate a sale price, with the Highway and Transportation Committee given the authority to establish the county's offering price without further County Board approval.

The County Board approved a Memorandum of Understanding between the county and the union in the Richland County Sheriff's Department. The resolution allows the department to conduct a 5-month trial period where officers could be scheduled for up to 10-hour shifts starting January 31st. If the arrangement does not seem to be working as intended, it could be terminated early at the discretion of the sheriff.

The Richland County Chief Deputy Sheriff and Road Patrol Lieutenant positions were granted raises to their annual salaries. They will increase 1.5% at the start of the first pay period in 2016, and by an additional 1% at the start of the pay period #13 in 2016. In addition, both positions must pay the full share of the employee contribution to the Wisconsin Retirement System effective at the beginning of 2016. It was stated that the added salary will be negated by the increased benefit contribution – to the point of the officials experiencing an overall wage decrease.

Richland County's 2015 Agricultural & Household Clean Sweep was deemed a success. There were 92 participants in mid-October. The majority of the $15,688 costs of the program were covered by grants and fees collected. The county's invoice totaled $6,653. It was stated that the Clean Sweeps are a good service to county residents; and the costs of disposing the hazardous materials responsibly outweighs the risks of not recycling them.

The County approved a contract for property and casualty risk management and insurance consulting services with Gander Consulting Services of Madison. It was stated that the agency will help guide the county in obtaining cost-effective insurance coverage; and the $15,000 contract is a small expense in the overall insurance costs incurred by the county.

In other news from the Richland County Board meeting this (Tuesday) morning, approval was granted for audit services from Johnson Block & Company in an amount ranging from $27,400 and $29,100. The board approved the county's share of a boiler pump repair project at the Symons Natatorium in the amount of $2,475. The other half of the project's cost will be requested to the City of Richland Center. Finally, it was reported that 2016 expense contracts for Richland County Health & Human Services will total just over $3.6-million. The revenue contracts in 2016 will total just over $5-million – nearly $500,000 more than 2015. The next Richland County Board of Supervisors meeting will be on Tuesday, January 19th.