Split Session For Supervisors As Hiring Process Continues

Mahaska County Board of Supervisors for April 7, 2014.

Mahaska County Board of Supervisors for April 7, 2014.

Oskaloosa, Iowa – Future road work was an important part of the discussion on Monday as the Mahaska County Board of Supervisors approved upcoming work in the county.

The board signed the contract for a federal aid agreement on a bridge deck overlay project located south of Cedar on T-67. The work on the bridge should be taking place late summer or early fall of 2014 when the top two inches of the road surface will be milled off, and then replaced with new concrete.

The cost of the project is estimated to be $120,000. The county’s portion of the cost is 20% of the project, the balance is paid for by the federal government. The funds for the county will come from the farm to market fund.

The Supervisors also approved the Mahaska County Secondary Roads fiscal year 2015 budget as well as its 2015 construction program.

Mike Vander Molen brought a couple of examples of potential contracts for a county engineer position to the table for discussion. It covered things such as compensation that would be further refined and vacation time. Vander Molen asked the two other supervisors about possible changes they would like to see in the contract. Greg Gordy expressed a desire to review a portion of the contract under section 10 of expenses. He asked that reimbursement at national conferences be removed, but “would like to leave state and local conferences in there”. Gordy said that by removing the national from the contract, it would give the board discretion in the future in regards to national conferences.

In the afternoon session, the Supervisors interviewed one remaining candidate for the county engineer position. Afterwards, the Supervisors went into closed session to discuss their next course of action, which is to authorize the chairman to call and negotiate with a potential candidate and a contract.

Julie Bak, Mahaska County CPC Coordinator, discussed the finances of the upcoming Mid-Iowa Behavioral Health Region, the provisional regional mental health program between Marion and Mahaska County. The start-up costs for each county were covered, which is currently available in existing Fund 10 accounts and will be transferred to the newly formed region. The new region should be “up and running” on May 1st said Bak.

“We’re only regionalizing the core services mandated right now”, said Bak.

The 2012 Iowa Legislature passed legislation that says, according to the Iowa DHS website, “The “Redesign Policy” bill focuses on the implementation of redesigning our state’s mental health and disability services system.”

That legislation which passed mandated at least a 3 contiguous county region be formed. Mahaska and Marion county are what remains of an early partnership between four counties. Jasper, Poweshiek both backed out before any 28E agreements were signed, and signed with different regions. Mahaska and Marion continued forward with their effort to regionalize.

Gordy asked Bak if the State of Iowa has approved the two county region. “They haven’t told us we can’t” said Bak. A region map published by DHS said that the region was pending. Bak explained that the region has submitted to the state its policy and procedures, budget and 28E agreement. During an initial meeting between the counties, DHS and area legislators, Bak said that provisional one year “opportunity to get this stuff up and running” would demonstrate the capability of the region.

During those discussions with DHS, Bak said the question was asked as to why 3 contiguous counties was chosen as a mandate versus a minimum population. “The answer was, we had to pick a number” said Bak. “It was arbitrary”. Bak said that the two counties of Mahaska and Marion have a larger population than that of a four county region in southwest Iowa.

The supervisors approved paying the bills for March of 2014. They also accepted the quarterly reports for the Auditor, Veterans Affairs and the Sheriff. The audits of Mahaska County and also the audit report for the Central Iowa Juvenile Detention Center were accepted.

Payroll changes were approved in the maintenance department and secondary roads for seasonal mowing.

Business Tax credits for fiscal year 2014-2015 were approved.



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