Wednesday, March 19, 2014 | NEWS
Polk County board approves land policy
Sets salary for sheriff and clerk of court
Gregg Westigard | Staff writer
BALSAM LAKE – The salaries for the Polk County sheriff and clerk of court are now established for 2015 and the next three years.
The action by the Polk County Board at its meeting Tuesday, March 18, cleared the way for the start of the fall election season.
The board also approved a policy for managing county-owned land. It was the last meeting for the present 23 member board and for at least nine supervisors. A new 15-member board will be elected April 1 and will take office April 15.
The sheriff and clerk of court elected next November will start their new terms in January 2015 with annual salaries of $84,673 and $55,974. Those salaries are a 1.5-percent increase over the current pay for the positions. The salaries will increase an additional 1.5 percent each year of the four-year term through 2018. The board approved the new salaries by unanimous voice vote.
Salaries for county elected officials must be set before the start of the filing period for the fall election. This year that date is Tuesday, April 15, with signed nomination papers due by June 2. The primary election date this year is Aug. 12. Three other county officials, the treasurer, clerk and register of deeds, are midway through their four-year terms and won't be up for election until 2016.
County-owned real estate that does not have a future use by the county will be sold under a new property management policy approved by the board. The policy directs the county administrator to prepare an inventory of county-owned real property by August 1 each year. That list would classify property as essential (currently used), reserved (having a future use), and surplus. Surplus land would be disposed of by auction or, if occupied, offered first to the present occupant. Property used by others would all have a lease agreement with rates set at market rental values or the actual operating cost to the county if a nonprofit leases the space. The policy was approved with some no votes heard.
This was the last board meeting for Harry Johansen, Kristine Kremer-Hartung, Gary Bergstrom and Jared Cockroft, all of whom are not running for re-election. It was also the last meeting for Rick Scoglio and Brian Masters. At least three others who are in election contests involving two incumbents won’t be returning, but those names will not be known until April 1.
Three supervisors will probably be returned to the board unopposed, and one district will definitely have a new supervisor.