Supervisors Approve 28E Mental Health Agreement
Oskaloosa, Iowa – On Monday morning, the Mahaska County Board of Supervisors approved a 28E agreement to join Marion County in a mental health region. However, that agreement can only be valid if the county receives an exemption from the state.
The state requires counties to join a mental health region of at least three contiguous counties by July 1, 2014, and to approve a 28E agreement by Jan. 1, 2014.
Supervisor Mark Doland says he is meeting with legislators, and with a representative from the Department of Human Services, in Des Moines today (Dec. 16) to discuss creating a two-county mental health region, instead of the minimum requirement of three.
“Another thing that we are going to try and really emphasize is that we entered this with the intention of having a four-county region. The Department of Human Services has arbitrarily allowed them to withdraw, those other two counties, from our region. Leaving us a two-county region,” Doland says.
In June 2012, Mahaska signed a letter of intent to create a mental health region with Poweshiek, Jasper and Marion County. But Jasper dropped out of the agreement in May 2013, and Poweshiek recently dropped out of the agreement as well. Leaving Marion and Mahaska without a mental health region.
The 28E agreement with Marion passed on a two-to-one vote, with Supervisor Greg Gordy voting “no.” Gordy says that by approving the agreement, the county is not following state requirements to create a tri-county region.
However, even though the 28E agreement passed, Marion still has to approve its own 28E agreement, and the state has to give both counties an exemption to create a two-county region.
“I’m confident that we’re going to come up with a resolution with the state. Either (with) the Department of Human Services, or with our legislators, that’s going to reflect what we want to do here in our county,” Doland says.
In addition to the agreement, the board unanimously appointed Doland as the mental health region representative.
The board also discussed the county engineer hiring process. County Engineer Jerry Nusbaum is set to retire on June 2014. Nusbaum told the board that his health has improved and that’s he’s willing to stay until the next election in November. Nusbaum says that it’s hard finding a county engineer, and that it might make it easier if the person that’s hired knows which supervisors he or she would be working for.
The board says it will consider keeping Nusbaum until November, and it will also consider advertising the job to find a replacement before Nusbaum’s retirement in June.
In other agenda items, the board unanimously approved a signature on hazard mitigation grant documents. Along with that, the board unanimously designated Doland as the representative on the grant. The board also unanimously approved fiscal year 2014-15 tax credits recommended by the county assessor for the family farm, the military and the Homestead.
The board received a Mahaska County Agricultural and Rural Development (MCARD) report, and a conservation report from Mahaska County Conservation Board Executive Director Dave Sedivec. Sedivec says that, even though camping revenue is down across the state, Mahaska County continues to have a good year in terms of camping revenue.
In addition to that, the board unanimously approved the purchase of a $317 speaker, and the payroll removal of Anita Golden from maintenance. In past meetings, members from the audience have complained about not being able to hear the supervisors. That’s why the board purchased the speaker.
The next board of supervisors meeting is on Jan. 6 at 9 a.m.