Dickinson Co. Supervisors Adopt Ordinance Revision For Hotel-Motel Tax; Approve New Health Insurance Incentives

Tue 2-9-2021

(Spirit Lake)-- The Dickinson County Board of Supervisors today (Tues.) voted 5-0 to approve the first reading of an ordinance revision pertaining to a change in allocation of hotel-motel tax proceeds. They voted by the same margin to waive the 2nd and 3rd readings of the revision and adopted it. The action followed a public hearing that drew no comment. The Okoboji Tourism Committee went on record at a meeting last month in opposition to the revision, which allows the county to retain a greater portion of the revenue for tourism-related projects as it sees fit.

The supervisors also today (Tues.) approved a financial incentive for employees who participate in the county's wellness program. Supervisor Kim Wermersen says it's intended to help keep employees healthy and to save taxpayers money. He says it's part of a package offered by the Iowa State Association of Counties, or ISAC...Wermersen & Insurance Incentives 

"The main focus that ISAC is pushing this year is to have each of our employees do an in-person physician visit. They will fill out a form, it's very simple, when you go into the doctor take the form with you, they fill it out, they fax it in. It's really quite a simple procedure. If you do that, ISAC will provide a 75 dollar with no tax on it, to our employees that do that. And what I'm asking for from this board to do is to support that program and provide an additional $75 when at least 80 percent of our employees complete the physical preventable exam with a doctor and 60 percent of our employees complete the ISAC online assessment. That meets our goal of getting a five percent reduction if we do those two things."

Wermersen said the new incentive would cost the county about $7,000 if all employees enrolled in the county's insurance participate. The Supervisors voted 5-0 to approve the program. Wermersen says additional incentives through ISAC would result in additional bonuses to employees who participate.

A culvert project near Swan Lake northwest of Superior may be getting bumped up in Dickinson county's 5-year program. County Engineer Dan Eckert told the Board of Supervisors today (Tues.) extremely low water levels make this a good time to do the project...Eckert & Swan Lake Culvert 

"It is in our five year program. We've been talking about moving it up just because of ease of construction. Again if it's dry they won't have to build a coffer dam to hold the water back, they won't have to build a temporary crossing if we get a lot of water, so. We've been working really hard with the DNR. Everything's designed, everything's ready to go on it, except for one DNR permit."

Eckert said he plans to bring the project to the board for further consideration in the coming weeks.