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Local

Supervisors contract with temporary ACO

JCARL closure prompts creation of new position, county still looking for full-time applicant

The Jasper County Supervisors have agreed to hire a temporary animal control officer. Without the Jasper County Animal Rescue League, the county needed to fill the need while undergoing the hiring process for the full-time position. The temporary ACO will dissolve Aug. 31 unless the board takes further action.
The Jasper County Supervisors have agreed to hire a temporary animal control officer. Without the Jasper County Animal Rescue League, the county needed to fill the need while undergoing the hiring process for the full-time position. The temporary ACO will dissolve Aug. 31 unless the board takes further action.

Loss of the Jasper County Animal Rescue League’s services has caused the board of supervisors to create an animal control officer position.

On Tuesday, June 30, the Jasper County Board of Supervisors approved the temporary hire of Leah Wiethers as the region’s ACO, effective July 1. This position will be dissolved on or before Aug. 31 unless the board takes any additional action. Wiethers will be paid a standard rate of $560 per week.

Brandon Talsma, chair of the county board of supervisors, said the county thought it was fair Wiethers only be hired as a temporary employee so the county can still undergo the hiring process of finding a full-time position. Talsma said Wiethers was “one of only two ACOs” at JCARL.

Since JCARL announced its closure at the beginning of June, the county has been regularly acknowledging the organization’s impact on animal control services. Jasper County contracted with JCARL for certain aspects of animal control, Talsma previously told Newton News.

“Whether it’s public drop-off, animal at-large, viscous animal, an animal that has to be quarantined. We utilize their animal control officers and their facility to pick up the animal, house the animal, treat it and everything else,” Talsma said. “I think it was 50-50 whether people called JCARL or called dispatch.”

For now, citizens are encouraged to call dispatch for animal control services. Severe animal-related emergencies, such as a violent or attacking animal, will still be handled the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office.

In other action Tuesday, the board of supervisors:

• Approved two hiring resolutions for the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office. Dylan Blackford will work as a deputy sheriff at a hiring-in rate, merged union scale of $25.03, starting July 6; Kira Lazenby will work as a deputy sheriff at year-two rate, merged union scale of $29.16, starting July 18.

• Approved a $418,875.57 transfer order from the 0802-JC Amended 28E Subfund UR TIF to 2015-(2016) TPI Refunded Debt. According to agenda documents, this transfer order will cover the payment that will be made May 28, 2020, for debt interest and principal on the following bonds: $4,825,000 dated Nov. 1, 2001, for the TPI/Opus Economic Development Grant.

• Approved a $10,554.29 transfer order from the general fund to Community Outreach, Community Center Capital Project Fund and Courthouse HVAC Cap Project, with the latter taking up most of the transfer total.

• Approved a $71,125 transfer order from 2012-(2012B) Debt to 0801-Amend UR TIF. According to agenda documents, this transfer will cover the payment that will be made June 1, 2019 for debt payment on the following bond: refunding of GO Bonds 2012B, $870,000, refunding of: Alpha Products, Federal Avenue and Colfax Hotel 2 Debt.

Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or cbraunschweig@newtondailynews.com

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