Richland County Board August 21st Meeting

Hiring a new Director for Richland County Health & Human Services was once again tabled at the August 21st meeting of the Richland County Board of Supervisors.

At the center of the indecision to act on the resolution is the act of salary negotiation. None of the supervisors are questioning the nominee the committee has brought before the board. The issue is that a salary was negotiated after the job was offered. Some of the supervisors feel that negotiating a salary should have been made known when the job was posted. Possibly then, more qualified candidates would have applied as well. The substitute amendment to hire the new director at the same pay as the previous director, rather than what is listed on the salary wage scale, was brought to the board for a second time last night and was again tabled by a vote of 11 to 10.

To try to increase hires willing to work certain shifts at Pine Valley Community Village, the board approved increasing the night shift differential pay from 30 cents per hour to $3 per hour. The board also approved Pine Valley to offer scholarships to employees and applicants to become certified as a certified nursing assistant. In order to qualify for the scholarship, recipients must agree to work at Pine Valley on the PM or night shift for a minimum of one year.

The Richland County Board of Supervisors also approved: two revenue contracts for the Department of Health & Human Services. One With Southwestern Wisconsin Community Action Program, Inc. in the amount of $75,400 for implementation of a Department of Health Services “Southwest Wisconsin Opioid Treatment Capacity Project” grant. These funds will allow the Department to hire a full-time, leased certified substance abuse counselor and a part-time, contracted peer support specialist to expand the intensive outpatient program. Southwestern Wisconsin Community Action Program will act as the fiscal agent for the grants. The second is with the Richland School District for reimbursement of a full-time, leased employee to work with the district providing mental health/substance abuse and crisis intervention services to youth in the amount of $75,000. The board also approved: for the Aging and Disability Resource Center to apply for and accept a vehicle grant from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to pay 80% of the cost of purchasing a medium wheel chair accessible bus with a 20% county match of approximately $12,500; and also a grant to provide transportation services with a 50% County match; water proofing a home in the dam breach area of Mill Creek Dam which is a high hazard dam at a cost of $5,857; a grant application in the amount of $8,500 by the Richland County Veterans Service Office; repairs to the Emergency Management response truck; the purchase of property in Eagle Township which will be paid for with federal funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and CDBG-EAP funds; authorization for three sheriff’s department employees to carry over unused vacation; and the amendment of the county highway departments handbook of personnel policies and work rules.

Jon Hochkammer, Outreach Manager for Wisconsin Counties Association, presented a power point presentation on County Government Authority, Administrative Structure Options, and the Roles and Responsibilities of County Board Members. Some highlights of the presentation included the types of county government and the differences between them which include: county administrator, county executive and administrative coordinator. A presentation was also given by Troy Maggied, Executive Director from the Southwestern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission. Maggied presented projections for the time frame of 2016 to 2040 which shows the overall county growth at eight percent and the 65 plus population growth at 48%. It also shows a student decline in Richland County schools over the past 18 years at 21.2%. Richland County also has the fourth largest number of home schoolers in the state at ten percent.

The Richland County Board of Supervisors also passed ordinances to rezone the Kurt & Tiffany Lasse and Ray & Alice Hatfield parcel in the Town of Westford from general agricultural and forestry to agricultural and residential; and the rezoning of Gary & Sandra Maxwell parcels in the Town of Akan. The board also approved an easement to Aliant Energy to place three gas mains under the county’s recreational trail.

The Board of Supervisors also passed a resolution commemorating the service of Irene Walmer for her 17 years of service at Pine Valley Community Village.