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Dunn County increases salaries for clerk of court by 8 percent, sheriff by 7.5 percent

By LeAnn R. Ralph

MENOMONIE —  The Dunn County Board has approved increasing the salary of the clerk of court by 8 percent and increasing the salary of the sheriff by 7.5 percent.

The increases in salary are similar to surrounding counties, said Steve Rasmussen, chair of the Dunn County Board, at the Dunn County Board’s February 21 meeting.

Dunn County has recently lost a number of people who have left to take positions elsewhere, including the county treasurer, the chief financial officer, the director of public works and the director of public health.

The county board has been working on approving salary increases in an attempt to keep employees from leaving the county.

Readers should note the county treasurer, the clerk of court and the sheriff are all elected positions.

According to the resolution approved by the county board, the clerk of court’s’ salary for 2019 will be $67,506. The sheriff’s salary for 2019 will be $93,735.

The resolution includes 2 percent increases for 2020, 2021 and 2022.

In 2020, the clerk of court will make $68,856, and the sheriff’s salary will be $95,610.

In 2021, the clerk of court will make $70,233, and the sheriff’s salary will be $97,522.

In 2022, the clerk of court will make $71,638, and the sheriff’s salary will be $99,472.

Since this is an election year for the clerk of court and the sheriff, state law requires compensation for certain county elected offices must be established by the county board before the earliest time for filing nomination papers for the elected office.

The salaries for the clerk of court and the sheriff are required to be set before April 15, 2018, for four-year terms commencing in 2019.

Adopting the resolution has no impact on the 2018 budget, but the 2019, 2020 and 2021 budgets will have to take the resolution into account.

Larry Bjork, county board supervisor from Menomonie, said he had heard in Chippewa County, the chief deputy makes more than the sheriff.

The chief deputy could make more than the sheriff in Dunn County, too, said James Tripp, county board supervisor from Menomonie and chair of the Committee on Administration.

The chief deputy’s position requires a high level of training. Dunn County’s qualifications for sheriff is that a candidate must be 18 years of age and a resident of the county, Tripp said.

Other business

In other business, the Dunn County Board:

• Appointed Kathryn Gallagher as the public health director to replace outgoing director Wendy MacDougall.

• Reviewed purchase orders over $40,000, including $960,000 for SAP hosting and support. SAP is the county’s computer software. Several supervisors wondered how many years remained on the contract for SAP. Paul Miller, county manager, said 10 years remained. In addition to covering hosting and support for the software, every user must have a license, he said.

• Approved a request from James and Theresa Ruff, Town of Grant, to rezone two parcels from Intensive Agriculture to General Agriculture. The parcel is about eight acres in size, and without the rezone, the parcel could not be split.

• Approved a request from Illuminated Ink, represented by Mark Anderson, to rezone a parcel from General Agriculture to Limited Commercial in the Town of Tainter.

• Approved a no-interest loan in the amount of $5,000 to Chippewa County to be used for the “housing authority cash flow fund.” Chippewa County is the lead county in the West Central Wisconsin Community Development Block Grant Region, which is made up of 10 counties. Because of the state’s long delays in processing pay requests, several contractors have said they wanted to withdraw from the program because they cannot operate their businesses with payment delays.

• Approved continuing with the self-insured workers’ compensation program.

• Denied the claims of Artisan and Truckers Casualty for $10,000  and the claim of Emma Craft for $10,000. Artisan and Truckers filed a claim against Dunn County related to the alleged occurrence on May 1, 2017 of an accident in which Emma Kraft struck a sheriff’s patrol vehicle. The claim alleges the sheriff’s patrol was making a Y turn without lights and siren when the collision occurred.

• Approved a resolution supporting Senate Bill 648 and Assembly Bill 688 proposing the re-establishment of a Wisconsin Conservation Corps program.

• Approved a resolution amending the Directional Plan adopted by the Dunn County Board on March 16, 2016, to include an additional initiative of “develop policy and support for broadband expansion.”

• Approved a budget amendment for 2018 to include an $80,000 grant from the Wisconsin Department of Justice to expand services provided by the Dunn County Jail to develop a trained peer support network to help individuals plan for housing, healthcare, employment and training, benefits and other services so they can successfully be reintegrated into the community.