The Scott County Board of Supervisors plans to begin audio recording its meetings in the next fiscal year.
The project was discussed during Tuesday’s budget review work session for fiscal year 2018-19.
Supervisors unanimously agreed on audio recordings of committee of the whole and regular board meetings. The board proposed allotting $50,000 in the capital improvement plan to purchase recording equipment. The decision stemmed from a 3-2 board vote to amend minutes from the Jan. 9 committee of the whole meeting. The amended minutes deleted Auditor Roxanna Moritz’ remarks opposing the county employee card purchasing program.
Supervisor Carol Earnhardt and Board Chair Tony Knobbe proposed public access to the recordings on the board of supervisors’ web page. Moritz suggested the audio recordings link be posted on the auditor’s web page. Knobbe directed staff to research all the options.
“Online accessibility comes with a cost,” Knobbe said. “We as a board need to consider what’s necessary, prudent and legal. We were and have been doing what is legally required.”
At the Feb. 8 board meeting, supervisors tabled approval of the minutes from January 23 and February 6 committee of the whole meetings that Moritz had submitted.
“I regret not including the board’s comments in those meeting minutes,” the auditor said.
“There’s a lot of tension and a lot to be discussed,” Knobbe said. “Approval of two sets of minutes will be on the next board meeting agenda."
Sheriff Tim Lane disagreed with a Facility and Support Services request to expand Juvenile Detention Center programs into space dedicated for a new juvenile assessment center. Lane said juveniles are transported on weekends to facilities in other parts of Iowa when the JDC is filled to capacity.
“We have space to resolve that issue,” Lane said. “An assessment center can go anywhere.”
Lane said city of Davenport law enforcement would use the assessment center 90 percent of the time.
“It’s not necessarily the county’s job to provide it for everybody,” the sheriff said.
Supervisor Holst questioned the assessment center’s $395,000 price tag. Facility and Support Services Director Tammy Speidel said restroom and shower installation increased project costs. Other projects in the buildings and grounds $2.4 million budget include HVAC control replacement in the administration center, an energy efficiency study, and sidewalk improvements at the intersection of 5th Street and Western Avenue.
County Administrator Mahesh Sharma said Davenport City Council’s decision to repair the streets using only brick will increase the cost to address the storm water retention problem at the intersection near the parking lot used by county employees. Sharma said the county had set aside $80,000 to spend on the project with the city. “Using all brick could cost $200,000 or more to correct the problem,” Sharma said. “The project may be canceled.”
Supervisor Diane Holst said she will not support that expense. “This is not our responsibility, it’s the city of Davenport’s responsibility,” Holst said.
Holst also questioned county conservation department plans for major improvements at Scott County and West Lake parks. The five-year capital improvement plan presented by Conservation Director Roger Kean includes construction of a 48-site campground and cabin adjacent to Bald Eagle campground at Scott County Park, waste water treatment plant renovation, lake restoration and construction of a four season shelter at West Lake Park.
“These are a lot of needs,” Holst said. “I think this is a good year to cut back on major projects.”
Sharma reminded supervisors the fiscal year budget that begins July 1 is the first year of a flexible five-year capital improvements plan. Supervisors will meet next Tuesday at 8 a.m. to wrap up the $83.6 million budget discussion. A public hearing on the budget will be held during the regular board meeting at 5 p.m. Feb. 22. Supervisors are expected to approve and adopt the budget by March 8.