A number of policy changes, both currently being adopted and some planned for the not-so-distant future, were brought before the Harvey County Commission at its meeting Tuesday. A few of the most significant revisions included:
1. Healthy Harvey point system adjusted
Lynnette Redington, Harvey County Health Department Director, and members of the wellness team came before the commission Tuesday to present proposed changes to the Healthy Harvey Rewards program for 2021 (offering incentivized health insurance rates for county employees who accrue the necessary 100 points in the coming year).
Some changes included adjusted points for certain activities — such as making annual physicals worth 20 points rather than five. There were also a number of new activities added to the points system, such as skin cancer screenings, bone density screenings and volunteer time or activities/classes taking the place of others no longer available in the county, such as a new diabetes prevention program offered through the Harvey County Extension Office.
There were also some minor language changes regarding some of the activities of which Redington and her team remain strong proponents.
"We still believe that a wellness program is key for happy, healthy, physically moving, less-stressed, good employees," Redington said.
Financial incentives with the program will remain the same for 2021, it was noted, with the commission ultimately voting to approve the proposed changes to the rewards program.
"You're working to make our organization a healthier place, so thank you," said County Administrator Anthony Swartzendruber.
2. Change coming to flood plain policies
Some less positive changes were also discussed as planning and zoning director Gina Bell, who reported back from a statewide conference on flood plain management, noted her office is likely to be dealing with some policy amendments in the near future. New requirements with flood plains were discussed at that conference that would hold agricultural buildings to the same standards as residential houses, with the only way to get around that through variances, which Bell and her office has been discouraged from pursuing in the past.
"I think it's going to be a big problem statewide," Bell said. "We're just going to be bound up in it. It's not really going to make things any better."
3. Recycling program continues to get overhaul
Additionally, Swartzendruber informed the commission that Waste Connections is looking to do another audit of the county's recycling center and wants to meet with the commission on Oct. 8.
Currently, Harvey County communities are still assessing the path forward with recycling (given the requests from Waste Connections) — though most are hopeful to continue offering those services. Depending on the results of Waste Connections' next audit, how that happens may still be up for discussion.
"They (Waste Connections) want to be able to see progress," Swartzendruber said. "If they're not seeing progress, my guess is they're going to come to you next week and suggest changes."
In other business, the county commission:
• Was asked to RSVP to the upcoming Farm Bureau annual meeting and 4-H achievement banquet, with all three commissioners expressing an interest in attending.
• Heard an update from Swartzendruber on the first meeting of the governor's council on tax reform, with some initial discussion on refundable tax credits for sales tax on food, how to collect additional tax revenues from out-of-state online sales and more. The council is slated to meet to discuss tax issues over the next 18 months.
• Discussed canceling one of the commission's October meetings (Oct. 22) because of conflicts in the schedules of administrative staff.
• Received a 2020 census toolkit so commissioners would be able to provide answers for individual Harvey County citizens with questions.
• Learned of numerous trainings that will be going on among county departments next week.
• Approved Resolution 2019-21 amending the Harvey County Unified Development Code, with new regulations added for commercial renewable energy projects.
• Approved a contract with Midwest Striping to stripe 35.15 miles of county road (at a cost of $905 per mile, up 13% from last year), waiving purchasing policy, though putting the contract out to bid was suggested if the costs continue to increase in the future.
• Approved a consent to merger and assumption of agreement with Park Aerospace Corporation.