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Familiar Face Back To Chair Holt County Board

Jan 17, 2024 (0)

By LuAnn Schindler

Summerland Advocate Messenger

Leadership in Holt County will remain the same. Supervisors elected Bill Tielke, of Atkinson, to serve as chairman for 2024. The vote was taken Friday when the group met for an organizational meeting at the courthouse in O'Neill.

Doug Frahm, of Amelia, will lead the board of equalization.

In addition to designating committee assignments for the year, supervisors set salaries and/or hourly wages for county employees.

Sheriff Ben Matchett said a three-year plan for deputies' wages, with a $2 increase per year for three years, was implemented last year.

"We also figure in merit pay," Matchett said.

Matchett said evaluations will be completed soon and those rates may be discussed at the Jan. 16 meeting.

The sheriff recommended a $1 per hour increase for jailers, which supervisors approved.

Matchett serves a jail administrator, while chief deputy Ed Nordby fills the jail manager position. The sheriff said he is fine with the $4,000 pay to serve as administrator and suggested Nordby receive an increase from $175 per month to $300 monthly to fill the roll.

Matchett said the manager's wage was last decided in 2016.

Frahm asked if a job description exists that outlines the manager's position.

The sheriff said he would need to check the policy manual.

"He's considered that in your mind?" Frahm asked.

"He (Ed) does a lot to manage the jail," Matchett said.

Supervisors agreed and approved all wages for the law enforcement department.

Planning and zoning administrator Marv Fritz will see an increase to $9,000 annually.

Fritz, who was in attendance, told supervisors, "I didn't take it on for the money. We do have a lot going this year. It may settle down."

Following discussion, Supervisor Scott Keyes made a motion to increase the wage to $9,000 annually.

Frahm said he was unsure if that amount was adequate.

"I know what Marv's been doing," Frahm said. "It should be at least that."

County emergency manager Deb Hilker will receive $29,800 annually.

Frahm pointed out the position is part time.

Pavel said she has done "a good job" at finding grant money for the county, including some used toward her salary.

Frahm asked how many hours the position requires each year.

"When there's emergencies, she's there. Whatever hours it takes," Tielke said. "I personally don't think it's enough."

Frahm changed his motion to increase the wage to the amount approved, $29,800 annually.

Veterans service officer Ken Stenka proposed a 5% increase, which includes wages for a part-time position. Pavel said Stenka sets the wage for the part-time position.

Frahm said, "There isn't the flow (of work) in and out of there that there used to be."

He expressed concerns about the VSO and assistant driving the van to appointments.

"I know there are other veteran service officers doing that, but I don't see that as their job," Frahm said.

Keyes said that Stenka received a $1,200 raise in 2023 and made a motion to that effect.

Tielke said that equates to 31 cents per hour.

A shift in the health care industry has changed the way the office operates, according to Frahm.

"It takes a lot of work out of it that was there previously. I'm not saying they aren't doing their job, it's just the job has changed," Frahm noted.

Keyes suggested approximately a 3% increase to $53,500 annually. The motion carried unanimously.

Custodial workers will also receive a raise. Supervisors approved a yearly cleaning contract for the annex, set at $1,700 per month. A part-time courthouse custodian will earn $19 per hour. Custodian Rick Slaymaker will receive an annual salary of $45,000 to maintain all Holt County Courthouse buildings and to continue with monthly reports to the board.

Supervisors spent nearly an hour discussing wages for road department employees, including discussion on incentive pay for work performance. Tielke told road superintendent Gary Connot that road personnel can start developing ideas for the incentives.

At the end of the discussion, supervisors approved increasing hourly road department employees' wage by $1 per hour. Additionally, the board will continue with established policy that hourly road employees will receive a nickel per hour for every consecutive year of service. The increase will be added to each employee's base pay every calendar year. An employee must complete one full year of service before becoming eligible.

Salaries for the grading, truck and asphalt foremen will increase to $64,000 annually. Connot will receive $80,000 a year, which includes a $9,750 stipend, received from the state, for the road superintendent to have a Class A bridge inspection license.


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