In its meeting Tuesday, the Des Moines County Board of Supervisors stopped staring at a list of budget increases and started slashing it.

The board rejected all requested increases except for a dramatic hike in the county jail budget, required conservation increases and items it can pay off through the county's line of credit.

Supervisors had warned staff they were going to cut other items from what was left of the list, most of which are pay raises. Supervisor Tom Broeker previously said he thinks they need to cut everything but the the aforementioned increases, but Jim Cary and Bob Beck had not yet weighed in.

Tuesday, both Cary and Beck agreed to Broeker's cuts.

"It's pretty grave, isn't it?" Cary said.

The board fears a cut in back-fill revenues Iowa state legislators may soon be considering.

The county's compensation board recommended 3 percent raises for elected officials this year. The supervisors cut that down to 2.25 percent

The board rejected additional deputy raises from the auditor, treasurer and recorder offices, plus extra investigator hours for the county attorney's office and a new position in local health.

The board did not seem swayed by a presentation and request from IT Director Gina Erickson for pay that reflects other similar-sized counties and departments in Iowa.

Supervisors cut pay increases for Erickson and other IT staff from the budget. Broeker said they could revisit the discussion when Erickson's contract is up for renewal in a few months.

The county's contribution to the Steamboat Senior Center on Jefferson Street dropped from $4,500 to $1,500 last year. The board rejected a requested increase of $12,225 that the center's operators say is needed to keep it running.

Meeting videos

Des Moines County recently got a request to live-stream its meetings for the public.

Supervisors want Erickson to show what added costs the change might bring. Erickson suggested that posting audio files online could be a free alternative if video is too cost-prohibitive for the board.

"I don't have any problem with it being a public meeting, but I hate to go to very much expense for something nobody has ever asked for," Broeker said. "It's my understanding that the person who asked to see this isn't allowed in the courthouse without security present."

Erickson said in a Monday interview that a woman named Kelly Hull made the request.

Hull owns the old Dial Soap building in downtown Burlington. Hull owes over $20,000 in taxes and special assessments on the property. She's previously asked Burlington for tax forgiveness and for a city-backed loan. She bought a small piece of property from Burlington last year, then was forced to give it back when she didn't fulfill the development stipulations of the sale. 

Besides physically going to a board meeting, the only way to hear what was said is to request an audio file on a CD from the auditor's office. They charge $10 a disc.

Burlington and West Burlington routinely live stream city council meetings online. Henry and Lee counties do not stream board of supervisors meetings.