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Supervisors tentatively approve Watershed Authority

After the Jasper County Board of Supervisors tabled the vote on joining the Mud Creek, Camp Creek and Spring Creek Watershed Management Authority during the Nov. 7 meeting, Mark Land came to Tuesday’s meeting prepared to make another pitch, but it was unnecessary.

“Me personally, I think I want to go forward with this,” board chair Dennis Stevenson said before Land even spoke. “The 28E Agreement did not get over to the county attorney. That was my fault, so my recommendation is going to be that today, we approve this.”

Stevenson stipulated if the board approved his recommendation, it would be done under the caveat that the county could back out if County Attorney Mike Jacobsen didn’t approve of the 28E Agreement.

Land, who represents the Authority on behalf of his firm Snyder & Associates, agreed with the stipulation.

“Thank you, sir. Sorry it was a short trip for you,” Stevenson joked after the board approved the measure, which was done in less than two minutes.

Land thanked the board for their time and spoke about some of the approved and pending approvals from other current/possible members of the Authority.

“Just for your information, Jasper County Soil and Water Conservation office did approve it after our last meeting,” Land said. “Since that time, Polk County has approved it. Polk County Soil and Water have it on their agenda this morning and it looks like they will approve it.”

“Mitchellville (City Council) considered it last night, but deferred the same as you,” he continued. “It is sounded like they were favoring it, so it’s off and running.”

If all the proposed members of the new Authority approve the measure, it would include Jasper, Marion and Polk counties and the cities of Altoona, Bondurant, Mitchellville, Pleasant Hill and Runnells and the Soil and Water Conservation Districts’ of the three counties.

The idea to create this Authority stemmed from the severe flooding that took place in 2008, and one of the purposes of the Authority would be to educate citizens and find ways to alleviate the flooding issues within the watershed.

Also during Tuesday morning’s meeting, Jasper County Elderly Nutrition Director Kelli Van Manen got board approval for three different measures.

The board approved her request for Elderly Nutrition to sub-contract its weekend and holiday meals to Skiff Medical Center at a costs of $6 a meal for weekends and $5 a meal for holidays. She said this deal was the same as last year’s.

Her second request, which was a contract with Aging Resources of Central Iowa for holiday meal reimbursement, was also approved. Van Manen said this measure would off-set the county’s expenditures on the contract with Skiff, which would allow the county to break even on the deal.

She added that the holiday meals would be delivered by volunteers and Stevenson volunteered himself and the other board members to help do so.

Van Manen also received approval from the board to apply for a $120,000 grant from ARCI. Last year, ARCI allocated $112,000 to Elderly Nutrition. She cited rising food costs, as well as employee wages for wanting to seek more funding.

“If you don’t ask for it, you’re not going to get it, so I raised it.” Van Manen said. “I don’t anticipate us getting less than $112,000, but hopefully we’ll get the $120,000.”

Staff writer Ty Rushing may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 426, or at

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