County board creates employee reimbursement, award policies

YORK – York County already pays reimbursements for employees’ continued education expenses and provides an annual awards banquet during which county staff are invited to take part in a meal and work anniversaries are recognized.

Those things have historically existed and will continue.

Now, the county has had to create written policies outlining those practices in order to be in line with state requirements.

York County Commissioner Chairman Randy Obermier explained to his fellow board members, this past week, how his own continuing education class informed him and other commissioner chairmen about this new requirement.

“State statute says we can reimburse for education but need to have a written policy,” Obermier said. “And we need to formulate a policy saying how much we can spend per meal for staff, for our awards banquet, and for the awards themselves. These are things we have always been doing, we are just now going to have put all that in writing. I talked with the county attorney about creating that.

“Basically, it will be business as usual, regarding mileages, the cost of the class and hotel lodging if necessary, one meal if they spend the night, what we do now,” Obermier explained. “Regarding the awards part, it could be that the cost of the awards event would not exceed $50 a person and that’s way above what we typically spend as it’s usually about $15 a person. It would just put something in writing.”

York County Attorney Gary Olson recommended they table a decision in the matter so he could consult with the Nebraska Association of County Officials (NACO) to get “the exact wording we need.”

For now, the board members passed a motion to adopt a policy to provide reasonable reimbursement for training and establish that maximum amount spent on the annual awards banquet, with Olson having the ability to create the proper verbiage to address the policies.

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