Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
FAIRFIELD - The Jefferson County Board of Supervisors decided Monday to maintain its mask requirement for county offices through June 1.
The supervisors discussed the policy during their meeting in the Jefferson County Courthouse. The previous resolution on the mask policy was set to expire April 1, but it will now be extended two months.
Supervisor Daryn Hamilton said he understands that other entities are easing their mask requirements, but the supervisors based their decision to maintain the mask mandate after speaking with Jefferson County Public Health Administrator Chris Estle.
The policy requires masks to be worn in the courthouse and in other county offices. However, offices that are run by elected officials are in charge of their own spaces. For instance, the auditor's office does not require masks to be worn in its office, but all the others do.
The court offices and the courtroom are under the jurisdiction of the state court system and follow their own policies. They have required masks ever since the courthouse reopened to the public nearly a year ago. In other news, the county will maintain its levy of $9.425 per $1,000 of assessed valuation for the 2021-2022 budget year. Hamilton said residents may pay more in taxes, though, because their property values are rising. He said the supervisors were able to hold the increase in the budget to 2 percent, bringing it to about $16.8 million. The supervisors were able to cut portions of the budget to make up for extreme cost increases in other areas, such as having to pay 15 percent more for health insurance premiums for the county's 89 employees, and 10 percent more on insurance for county buildings and vehicles.
The supervisors reappointed Karen Crossland to the Judicial Magistrate Appointing Commission, and reappointed Jefferson County Environmental Health Administrator Dan Miller as weed commissioner. Miller had earlier announced a desire to step down as weed commissioner, but the county was able to find a replacement for him, so he agreed to return to his role as weed commissioner.