County engineer contract ratified

After a unanimous vote to hire Brice Goebel as county engineer in mid-May, the next step was in approving a contract, which the Marion County Commission did June 3 following a series of executive sessions from May until ratification.

In addition to hiring Goebel at a salary of $80,000, the commissioners also discussed the current staffing structure and existing job descriptions in the road and bridge department.

The general consensus by the commission was to eliminate the superintendent position because many of those duties would now fall to the engineer.

One possible position for Jesse Hamm, who up until Goebel’s hiring was as superintendent, could be in combining the road supervisor and bridge culvert supervisor positions and come up with a new job title.

At this time, however, the commission has yet to decide what Hamm’s new position will be. The commissioners agreed to discuss the issue at the June 10 meeting.

According to the agreement reached for the county engineer, it was decided that Goebel’s duties will be specified in state statutes for that position. In addition, even though Goebel was given a one-year contract, he has the right to resign and conversely the commission can also terminate his employment.

The agreement further outlined termination and severance pay, performance evaluation, hours of work, subscriptions, continuing education, office space and other benefits.

In other business, the commission:

◼ heard from Susan Robson, tax sale attorney, who will have a finalized list of locations to be included in the sale.

◼ approved an increase of $3,425 in the 2020 budget for the Marion County Conservation District. The total amount requested is $36,425.

◼ approved $4,000 be allocated to The Restoration Center Inc. from the Special Alcohol funds. Joy Waldbauer requested $12,000 from the 2019 tax fund, but because FACT distributes the majority of those funds to many programs, the commission was unable to grant Waldbauer’s request. It was also decided to speak with county counselor Brad Jantz to determine how to handle the Special Alcohol funds in the future.

◼ heard a concern by Commissioner Dianne Novak regarding charges on a bill for attorney fees. The commission requested county clerk Tina Spencer seek clarification on why the bill was nearly $10,000.

◼ approved agreement between the county and the Special Education Cooperative. The county agreed to provide vision and hearing screenings for the cooperative during the 2019-20 school year. In turn, the cooperative will pay $6,000 for those services. Additionally, the cooperative is responsible for the cost of screening forms and the first half payment of $3,000 will be due Sept. 21, 2019, and the second half of $3,000 on Jan. 21, 2020.