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Local

BOH discusses annex building, approves new positions

The Jasper County Board of Health remains housed in the basement of the Jasper County Annex Building 
as they await a space analysis by the Jasper County Board of Supervisors. Pictured is the area that citizens 
enter as they go to the restrooms in the basement. The basement is a concern as it has mold, flooding and 
leaking windows.
The Jasper County Board of Health remains housed in the basement of the Jasper County Annex Building as they await a space analysis by the Jasper County Board of Supervisors. Pictured is the area that citizens enter as they go to the restrooms in the basement. The basement is a concern as it has mold, flooding and leaking windows.

The Jasper County Board of Health’s meeting with the Jasper County Board of Supervisors Tuesday was not the first time members have expressed their concerns with the agency’s current facility. A plan of whether the building will take on extensive repairs or be abandoned continues to be up in the air.

The Jasper County Board of Health reflected on the status of the annex building and potential steps that could be taken at its Thursday meeting.

The Jasper County Board of Health is currently housed in the basement of the Jasper County Annex Building. The basement is an area of concern with issues including mold, flooding and leaking windows.

A review by the architecture engineering consulting firm Shive-Hattery found estimated cost of to begin work addressing the building’s ailments could reach $650,000

The board of health, along with JCHD, have been exploring options for a new location for the department since February. On their wish list is a space that is ADA accessible, offices, a proper meeting room and restrooms among more detailed specifications.

“We had a nice productive meeting and I felt very positive about the outcome and their willingness to support us on the current location,” board chair Margot Voshell said. “It looks like we will move forward with either seeking an alternate location or whatever the supervisors decide is best for not only the health department but for everyone in this building.”

Voshell said the supervisors want to do a space analysis, meaning looking at the building to see what it would take to keep everyone in the annex building with the exception of the basement.

“I do feel confident that they didn’t think the basement was an appropriate space,” Voshell said. “I think they will also look at other buildings in the community that could house everyone.”

Jackie Sparks, board of health, said she believes the BOH should be proactive to guarantee things move along.

Voshell said there is definitely more to come and they will remain diligent.

“I think the citizens deserve an adequate, safe space to go to that will meet their needs,” Voshell said. “We are invested in this county and we are a group of professionals making this recommendation.”

In other business:

The board of health approved the Parents As Teachers of Jasper County program to begin Feb. 1 instead of April 1. The board also approved the hire of three part-time employees and possibly making one full-time employee. The funds will be provided outside of the county. The Jasper, Marion and Poweshiek County JMP grant will provide all funding for the union positions. The hiring starting rate would be $15.45 per hour. The position will be up for approval by the Jasper County Supervisors. If approved, the positions will be posted for applicants.

The board of health approved the hire of an Emergency Preparedness Grant Coordinator for the 1-B service area in the six-county coalition. The coalition approved a $55,000 to $65,000 salary. A federal grant will cover the employee’s salary and their needs. The grant funded position means there is no guarantee of continued funding, however, administrator Becky Pryor said the continued federal grant is likely. The Jasper County Health Department would charge $600 for administration.

Contact Kayla Langmaid at 641-792-3121 ext. 6533 or klangmaid@newtondailynews.com

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