Supervisors hear budget requests

WASHINGTON — The Washington County Board of Supervisors heard budget requests for increased funding from the Washington Economic Development Group (WEDG) and the Washington County Public Library Association when it met in regular session Tuesday, Dec. 2 at the Washington County Courthouse.

WEDG Executive Director David Collins and board member Ron Lutovsky, told the supervisors that to achieve continued success promoting Washington County, WEDG must expand its financial base. The organization is currently conducting a fund drive among its membership and is requesting an increase in funding from the county.

Collins said funding for the organization from the county has been flat during the past 12 years. He said that there are a number of opportunities on the horizon that WEDG wants to pursue that will require additional resources. Several local companies are poised for growth, he said. Lutovsky said the past year has been a successful one for the organization which focuses on housing initiatives and attracting new residents to the county. “We have taken a leadership role in that area,” he said.

Three area librarians from the Washington County Public Library Association requested a 1 percent increase in funding for 2020. Anne Skaden of the Kalona Public Library, Bryna Walker of the Washington Public Library and Carol Wilkins of the Wellman-Scofield Library said the increase would amount to $3,029 bring the total funding request to $168,029 or $20.92 per capita based on the county’s 2010 population.

The librarians said the association has not requested an increase in county funding for three years but increased operating costs have created the need for the request for more money in 2020.

In other business, the supervisors:

• Approved a scheduled one-year salary increase for Zach Rozmus, head of the County Conservation Department, from $2,236.49 biweekly to $2,323.83 biweekly;

• Briefly discussed next year’s budget;

• Set Dec. 17, at 9 a.m. as the date for a public hearing regarding proposed bids for civil work and tower construction related to the Washington County Communications Project and

• Announced that the weekly supervisors meeting the week of Dec. 22 will be held Monday, Dec. 23 rather than on Tuesday Dec. 24 and the meeting on the week of Dec. 29 will be held on Thursday, Jan. 2 rather than on Tuesday, Dec. 31.