WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Lee County Cabins, Sick Leave, Wage Freeze

Lee County, IA –

The Lee County Conservation Board wants to build two cabins near Wilson Lake. The two-bedroom cabins would feature electric, water, and sewer services.

Director Tom Buckley says Wilson Lake needs a boost to attract repeat visitors. He says the Conservation Board would also like to add a shower/restroom facility to attract more campers.

Each project is expected to cost about $95,000.

The Lee County Board of Supervisors could soon vote on a plan to help pay for the two cabins. A grant is already in place to help pay for one cabin and the Conservation Board's foundation could help cover furnishing costs.

If the supervisors approve the proposal, at least one cabin could be in place by the end of June.

Wage Freeze
Lee County's non-union employees will probably go without a pay raise next year.

The Board of Supervisors has to approve a new salary grid for the upcoming fiscal year. Chairman Rick Larkin says there are always discrepancies between union and non-union workers during difficult budget times.

Lee County has reached tentative agreements with the Administrative Unit (Recorder, Treasurer, Auditor) and the union representing employees in the sheriff's office. The deals call for wage increases for next year.

Negotiations are still underway between the county and the union representing employees in the secondary roads department.

Lee County's budget for the upcoming fiscal year includes no money for pay raises.

Sick Leave
The Lee County Board of Supervisors has changed how some employees can take time off work.

Chairman Rick Larkin says non-union workers were previously required to use at least two hours of sick or personal leave at a time. He says the minimum use has now been cut to one hour.

"If a person wants to go to a doctor's appointment," said Larkin, "now they don't have to take two hours at the end of the day. They only have to take one which helps us get the work done."

The issue came to light earlier this month.

Several elected leaders told the board that they were having trouble with staffing levels because employees had to use more time off than they needed. Sick or personal leave use for union employees is laid out in their employment contracts.

No changes were made to vacation time requirements.