At Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Jasper County made it official that it will join the Central Iowa Community Services Region. The board unanimously approved the proposal by Jasper County Community Services Director/Central Point Coordinator Jody Easton. The county was previously in talks to form a mental health region with Poweshiek, Mahaska, and Marion counties.
The Central Iowa Community Services Region currently consists of Boone, Franklin, Hamilton, Hardin, Madison, Marshall and Story counties. Jasper will be the eighth member of the region. The addition of Jasper County will give the region five community housing management corporations. Capstone Behavioral Services provides the service locally.
“I was here a few weeks ago to let you know that Joe (Brock) and I were re-examining and analyzing the regional options available to Jasper County,” Eaton said. “When this process first began, I had conversations with a couple different groups and some of the CPCs that were already functioning.”
“We did began the planing process with the four county group and although we started that process early, the progress has been very limited...,” Eaton said. “We had our first official planning committee (meeting) April 8. After that meeting Joe asked that I review our regional options, to make sure we were doing the best scenario for Jasper County, our taxpayers, our providers, and the individuals that we fund.”
Eaton said the she notified the CPCs of the Poweshiek, Mahaska and Marion that the county was inquiring about alternative regions. She also said that she talked with the CPCS of the Central Iowa Community Services Region.
“They are quite advance in their planning process, but they have met and would agree to add Jasper County in the planning process moving forward,” Eaton said. “Regionalization is very difficult. It’s a difficult concept to grasp. We believe in local and county government, but this is something that we are required to do.”
“Even (with) the best alternative, there are going to be some bumps on the road,” Eaton continued. “Joe and I did discuss all the information that I had gathered...We determined that Jasper County should join the Central Iowa Community Services Region.”
Board member Joe Brock thanked Eaton for her work and heavily favored aligning with the new region. Stage legislation requires regions to be up and active by June 30, 2014.
The board also approved several items on the agenda.
a liquor license for Loyal Order of the Moose Newton Lodge #923
the hiring of a Naturalist II for the department of Conservation.
a rock salt bid of $69.85 per ton from Independent Salt Company of Kanopolis, Kan for the 2013 to 2014 winter season.
Elderly Nutrition Director Kelli Van Manen’s request for the board to approve of her department receiving $9,508 in additional funds from Aging Resources of Central Iowa.
County Treasure Doug Bishop’s request on behalf of the IT department to to upgrade the email system was also approved. Bishop said the system would make things simpler, and would save the county $1,700 on postage and paper cost. This measure was also approved.
Tyler Technologies of Ames estimated that the initial cost of set up could be a $1,000. In addition a maintenance cost of $1,757 annually would be required as a part of a five-year fixed-rate contract.
Staff writer Ty Rushing may be contacted at (641)-792-3121, ext. 426, or firstname.lastname@example.org