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The 'COOP' is in play

Board of Supervisors approves emergency plan

Jasper County is officially prepared for the worst. The County Continuity of Operations Plan was formally adopted during Tuesday’s Jasper County Board of Supervisors meeting, the measure initially was approved in a non-resolution format last week.

A passage from the resolution states:

“The Jasper County Board of Supervisors deems it of the utmost importance to be prepared to insure the continuity of local government services in the face of disaster. Prior planning is necessary to prepare for emergencies such as fire, tornado, natural gas explosion, a pandemic, long term hostage situation, white powder threat, weather related calamities and other disasters.”

Jasper County Emergency Management Coordinator Jim Sparks, a key figure in the configuration of COOP, was in attendance. Sparks, along with board chair Dennis Stevenson, presented bids for a new generator at the former Iowa National Guard Armory located at 1030 W. Second St. S. in Newton.

“I want to give a little background information on what we’re doing here,” Stevenson said. “One of the things we are using the armory building for is our backup computer system, it’s where our EOCC (Emergency Operations Command Center) is going to be, it’s where our employees are going to move to if we have to close the courthouse down. One of the things we need is to have a generator out there.”

Stevenson went on to say that he, Jim Sparks, and Jasper County Maintenance Director Adam Sparks had all priced different generators. In the end, the board voted to purchase the DCA 100 model for $18,500 from Altoona-based Ziegler CAT. The generator selected was a 2004 model and had 6,000 hours on it.

Jasper County Community Services Director/Central Point Coordinator Jody Eaton asked the board to consider signing a 28E agreement with Central Iowa Recovery, and brought along CIR Executive Director Tim Bedford to provide additional information on the program.

“The concept that Central Iowa Recovery delivers is based on a foundation of intensive psychiatric rehabilitation,” Bedford said. “IPR is a recovery oriented program. It is not to stabilize people, it is to facilitate recovery. Another service we provide is a community support service through Medicaid.”

Bedford also said CIR provides a 24 hour help line and offers peer support. The board approved the measure to join CIR. CIR membership does not conflict with the county’s regionalization plans for the Central Iowa Community Services Region, which the county joined on June 25.

“It makes perfect sense to me,” Stevenson said. “If Jody thinks it’s a good idea, then yeah.”

After agreeing to join CIR, the board then appointed Eaton to be the county’s representative on the CIR board and board member Joe Brock was appointed as the alternate.

Eaton also updated the board on CICSR and said that on July 29 there will be a Board of Governors meeting in Story County. She also noted the CICSR 28E agreement was filed with the state on July 17.

At the request of Jasper County Auditor Dennis Parrott, the board approved the measure to establish a county MasterCard account. The measure would go into effect on Sept. 1 and elected officials and department heads would all receive a purchase card. All other credit/debit card accounts would be closed out, and the county would acquire the new purchase cards through PFM Financial, whom the county worked with in April for the sale of Capitol Loan Notes.

“This would help us with accountability and they offer a rebate,” Parrott said. “The county would earn money with every dollar spent. (Having spending) centralized into one account makes it easy to track.”

Parrott also insisted current purchasing processes wouldn’t change and that employees would not be able to get cash.

“It makes a lot of sense,” Brock said.

In other business:

• Greater Newton Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Darrell Sarmento was granted permission to use the square and courthouse lawn for two events. The first request is for “Ridiculous Day” this Saturday and the second requested date would fall on for Aug. 23 for the Classic Car Cruise.

• Vision Care Direct Sales Director Mike Jones pitched his company’s vision benefit plan to the board. The county is currently under a vision benefit contract and Jones was told to come back when the contract is out for bid again.

• Gary Stephenson was granted permission to place a 1934 Leoni Illuminated Constitution Lithograph in the courthouse, once funds were gathered. The county pledged no funds to the matter, but Stephenson said he will seek sponsors in the community.

• Adam Sparks request for the purchase of a 2014 Chevy Silverado work pickup truck was approved. Newton-based Noble’s All-American won with a bid of $31,451. All three members of the board said they chose Noble’s to support local business.

• Adam Sparks also presented the board with two bids for courthouse elevator maintenance and Denver, Iowa-based Schumacher Elevator Company won with a bid of $67,500.

• County Engineer Russ Stutt received approval to select Oden Enterprises Inc. of Wahoo, Neb., to purchase bridge beams. Oden’s quote for the beams was $68,486.60.

• Jasper County Human Resources Director Dennis Simon received approval to purchase two exterior automatic defibrillators form for $1,559 a piece. Simon also received permission to use county flex forfeiture funds for the purchase.

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