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Supervisors OK reduced raises

Also approve Harcourt radio tower upgrades

Webster County Supervisors approved a raise for elected county officials slightly lower than the Board of Compensation’s recommendations earlier this year, as well as upgrades to a radio tower keeping in time with the county’s transition to digital.

The Board of Compensation recommended in January a 3% raise across the board for elected officials. The amount approved Tuesday by supervisors will give a 2.5% raise to elected officials, raising salaries to:

• Sheriff — $98,400, up from $96,000;

• Supervisor — $39,975, up from $39,000;

• Supervisor chairman — $41,000, up from $40,000;

• Auditor — $71,750, up from $70,000;

• Treasurer — $71,750, up from $70,000;

• Recorder — $71,750, up from $70,000;

• Attorney — $123,000, up from $120,000;

The motion previously made by supervisors in January merely acknowledged the Board of Compensation’s recommendations without approving the raise.

Supervisor Chairman Mark Campbell said that the 2.5% raise approved will ensure that elected officials are receiving no more of a raise than any other county employee this year. All raises will go into effect July 1.

Supervisors also approved upgrades to Harcourt Tower as the county prepares to complete its transition from an analog to a digital radio system. The upgrade, at $97,998, includes lights, cameras, generators, air conditioning and other miscellaneous building expenses from Electronic Engineering Co. and Moeller Furnace Co., both of Fort Dodge.

Dylan Hagen, Webster County emergency management coordinator, said in a previous meeting that the new system’s stronger strength, 700 to 800 megahertz, will allow interoperability between agencies across the state, making dedicated channels a thing of the past as it introduces interesting new features.

The new system will be dual-band, meaning that Webster County will still be able to communicate with other counties still on analog. The tower upgrades are part of a $2.3 million effort.

The county’s old analog system is in need of an upgrade, as agencies from other counties and the state started to move to digital, leaving Webster County at a disadvantage in communicating with them for fire, police and emergency medical service responses across county lines.