MOUND CITY – County Attorney Burton Harding met with the Linn County Commissioners on Monday, June 27, to update the commissioners and to present the 2023 budget for his office.
Harding gave a brief explanation of the three increases in his budget for 2023. He said that payroll had increased by $2,100 because he was giving 50-cent-per-hour wage increases to two women who worked in his office who have not had a raise for a long time.
Harding said that, now that the court is opening up, he is adding $3,000 to his contractual line item to cover court costs like preservation of evidence, witness fees and that sort of thing.
The biggest increase is $41,000 in capital outlay for new software that the commissioners had approved purchasing at a previous meeting. This will be a one- time amount with $3,000 per year for licensing fees in future. The commissioners tentatively approved the total budget of $365,600.
Harding told the commissioners that his office had everything boxed up and some high school students ready to move everything to the new justice center offices when they were ready.
County Counselor Gary Thompson said that the county was waiting for the certificate of occupancy to be approved by the State Fire Marshal before offices could start moving in.
Harding explained that arraignments have been set for several cases. He said that there had been a huge amount of cases threatening to go to trial during the two years the court was closed. But now that they had been sifted through and some had decided to go to trial, there were about three to five cases coming up soon.
Harding said that he was in the process of tinkering with the amount offenders paid in diversion fees. Depending on whether the offense was a felony or a misdemeanor, the cost is usually $30 to $50 application fee with a diversion fee of $100. The offender is also charged a fee that goes to charities in the county.
He said that, right now, the Linn County Children’s Coalition was receiving a large portion of the charity fee, and the organization had been able to help out more families with it.