County Supervisors Discuss DHS Phone Service Change And Road Re-Classification
By Eduardo Zamarripa, CRI Weekly News
Oskaloosa, Iowa – On Monday morning, the Mahaska County Board of Supervisors discussed changing the Department of Human Services’ phone service, and set a date for the hearing regarding the re-classification of 340th Street from Irvine Avenue to James Trail.
DHS Office Supervisor Marilyn DaJong and Administrative Clerical Violet Crosby spoke in the meeting about possibly switching phone services from Mahaska Communication Group (MCG) to Mediacom to reduce costs. Crosby said Mediacom projected DHS to save $3,183 in the first six months if DHS switched to Mediacom.
In addition to that, Crosby said that over the next two years switching to Mediacom would save DHS more than $16,000 because of the long distance services that Mediacom can provide. Crosby said that DHS already receives the lowest possible rate on long distance calls that MCG can provide. If DHS were to make the switch to Mediacom, it would do so on a three-year contract.
Supervisor Greg Gordy asked Crosby to make sure the switch to Mediacom would not alter anything with DHS’ current voicemail system. He also asked Crosby to check back with MCG if it’s possible for DHS to have an incoming ’1-800′ line to reduce long distance calls costs, or if it’s possible for DHS to pay for long distance calls with a separate long distance provider. Crosby said she would talk to Mediacom and MCG and report back on her findings. Crosby also commented on DHS’ experience with MCG so far.
“MCG has done an awesome job for us, we don’t have any complaints. But this is quite a savings (opportunity), financially,” Crosby said.
The board also set a hearing for Sept. 16 at 9:30 a.m. to discuss the road re-classification from level “B” to level “C” on 340th Street (from Irvine Avenue to James Trail). The change in classification provides a reduced level of maintenance and restricts access.
Two items on the agenda were unanimously approved by the board. The board approved a resolution to de-authorize any previously authorized bonds for Regional Utility Service Systems (RUSS) that have yet to be issued, and authorized Emergency Management Agency to be placed under the county’s health plan effective retroactively on July 1, 2013.
The board also pushed back two items on the agenda: approving the transition from First Administrators, Inc. (FAI) to Wellmark as third party administrator (TPA) for health plan, and authorizing a Courthouse restroom opening for Carols, Candles and Coco gathering. Brad Reiman from Bearance Management Group said the paperwork was not ready to finalize the health plan switch. The restroom opening was requested for Dec. 6, but a second request came in for Dec. 5. The board tabled it to approve both dates on the next meeting.
The board also listened to sanitarian and conservation reports and received a channel repair bid regarding NRCS project L-EWP13-62 from McCauley Construction Company in the amount of $10,360.
The next Board of Supervisors meeting will be held on Sept. 3 at 9 a.m.