County pays more for snow days

News editor

When Marion County offices are closed because of weather, the county actually pays more wages than when offices are open.

County commissioners asked County Clerk Tina Spencer what is done with compensation when there are closures.

When the county closes the courthouse and other offices because of the weather, all full-time employees receive eight hours of holiday pay, she said. Employees who have to work regardless of the weather, such as law enforcement, dispatch, and road crews, are also paid for the hours they actually work, in addition to receiving holiday pay.

For salaried workers, that typically results in receiving compensatory time. Workers who receive an hourly wage — law enforcement and dispatchers — would be paid for the time at their normal wage.

That is in contrast to when some employees can’t make it to work because of the weather but offices remain open. In those situations, people who miss work must use vacation time, Spencer said.

This system results in the county payroll being higher when offices are closed because of the weather than when they remain open.

After discussion, the commission voted 2-1 to keep the same system for snow days. Commission Chairman Randy Dallke was opposed.

Storage building discussed

Commissioners decided to seek someone to advise them on construction of a building for storage. Their plan is for a metal building south of the new jail.

Spencer said it would be best for part of it to be climate-controlled for storage of documents.

To fill the county’s needs, it would also need to be fairly tall for emergency communications trailers to fit in it.

Auditors don’t want documents in the ‘cloud’

Lloyd Davies of Great Plains Computers & Networking of Marion discussed technology plans with the commission.

Spencer said the county’s auditors had read in the newspaper that the commission was considering using online service Dropbox for commission packets and recommended against doing that because of security concerns.

Davies said the county could achieve the same functionality using file servers the county already has. The commission asked Davies to prepare a plan for that.

The commission also requested Davies get bids for a new projector and screen for the commission meeting room.

In other business:

  • The commission approved sending a letter to a property owner south of Hillsboro who built a building without a permit.
  • Reimbursement for employees driving their own vehicles on county business was increased from 50 to 55 cents per mile.
  • Dickinson County Commission invited the commission to participate in a (currently unscheduled) meeting of several counties about items of mutual interest.
  • Sheriff Rob Craft met with the commission in closed session for 15 minutes to discuss job performance of non-elected personnel. No action was taken on return to open session.

The next commission meeting is scheduled for Thursday.

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