December 09, 2021

Central Iowa Housing Trust Fund board member approved by county

Newton lawyer represents Jasper County in CIHTF

Caitlin Otto, a lawyer from Newton, was reappointed by the Jasper County Board of Supervisors to the Central Iowa Housing Trust Fund, which accepts and funds applications from entities that build and improve housing in rural areas within a four-county region.

Otto was first appointed to the organization’s board two years ago. Formed in 2019, the CIHTF consists of Jasper, Boone, Warren and Marion Counties, and aims to advance affordable, quality housing in rural areas. For instance, last year, CIHTF focused on improving HEAL House, a homeless shelter in Indianola.

By being a part of a regional organization, CIHTF can more easily pool together resources and be eligible for specific grant opportunities.

“Because we are four counties coming together we can combine our resources and applications and get more money from the Iowa Finance Authority,” Otto said.

With her reappointment she will continue her role as board secretary and treasurer, as well as acting as a representative for Jasper County.

Jasper County Supervisor Brandon Talsma also serves on the CIHTF board as vice-chair.

“In another month or two the Fund will receive next year’s grant funding information and begin accepting applications for 2022,” Talsma said. “Everything has been going well and we hope that we’ll have another successful year.”

In other action, the board of supervisors:

• Approved the county’s holiday schedule for 2022. The schedule notes the county government will be observing all major and federal holidays, and thus will be closed on those days.

The only changes in this schedule are that the county attorney’s office will be closed to observe Martin Luther King Day on Jan. 17, 2022 and not President’s Day, to coincide with the judicial holiday schedule.

Secondary roads/PPME members are not subject to this agreement and will be following the holiday schedule established in the collective bargaining agreement with the county.

• Provided Jasper County Engineer Mike Frietsch the authority to certify the “completion of work and projects in accordance with plans and specifications in connection with all farm-to-market, federal and state aid construction projects in the county.”

• Hired a new, temporary clerk for Jasper County Veterans Affairs. Alyssa Flood will be working for just 20 hours a week for the next few months. The temporary position will not last longer than five months. Without any board action the position will be dissolved on March 12, 2022.

Flood began her training just after the supervisors approved her hiring.

• Approved several of the Jasper County Sheriff’s quarterly reports due to clerical error within the county recorder’s office. While the sheriff’s office did submit the backlogged reports to the recorders office on time, the recorders office did not submit the reports to the supervisors for approval.

Reports from the end of Dec. 31, 2020 until Sept. 30, 2021 were all submitted to and approved by the supervisors at the meeting. The county recorders office apologized to all in attendance for their mistake.

Abby Knipfel

Abby "Adler" Knipfel

Journalist at Newton Daily News. Currently covering Jasper County and writing passionate opinion pieces. They/Them