Johnson County Board of Supervisors extend building closures, increase recommended minimum wage

The Johnson County Board of Supervisors extended building closures for an additional two weeks, in line with Iowa Gov Kim Reynolds’ county closure extensions through May 15.


Shivansh Ahuja

Johnson County supervisors hold a work session over live-stream on Wednesday, April 29, 2020. (Shivansh Ahuja/The Daily Iowan)

Riley Davis, News Reporter

The Johnson County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted Thursday to extend the closure of county buildings and continued its 2015 ordinance to recommend employers in the county to increase the minimum wage to $10.63.

The building closures will extend until 7:30 a.m. May 18, with the exception of the Johnson County Courthouse which will continue to have limited access to the general public unless for specified circumstances.

An announcement from Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds on April 27 to extend closures in Johnson County and 21 other counties until the end of the day May 15 spurred the board’s decision for the specific date. The state’s remaining 77 counties will loosen restrictions.

Supervisor Janelle Rettig said the board should extend building closures until at least two to three weeks after Iowa’s projected peak on May 5 instead of reviewing and extending the closures every two weeks as she believed it created confusion for the public.

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Supervisor Chair Rod Sullivan disagreed and said he appreciated the board’s decision to have the gradual extensions.

“We’re sticking with the governor and our authority to do anything is, to some degree, predicated on the governor,” Sullivan said. “So, I’ve felt like discussing it more frequently is working.”

County buildings have been closed since March 17 and will continue to be reviewed on a two-week basis by the board.

In addition, the board continued its minimum-wage ordinance that was created and voted upon in 2015 to annually increase minimum wage. The ordinance brought the recommended minimum wage for the county up by 23 cents, from $10.40 to $10.63.