December 09, 2021

CICS becomes a state funded organization

County levy’s will no longer fund mental health and disability organization.

Central Iowa Community Service, or CICS, is moving from a county-based funding to a state-based funding to help staff move between counties and coordinate their outreach work far more easily.

During its Nov. 16 the Jasper County Board of Supervisors meeting the CICS Finance Officer for Jasper County, Betsy Stursma, presented a new agreement which will, “Join together to voluntarily form a public body corporate and politic and separate legal entity under Iowa Code Chapter 28E, and amendments thereto, known as Central Iowa Community Services.”

According to their own website CICS, “Supports individuals and strengthens communities by serving the unique needs of individuals with mental health and intellectual and other developmental disabilities in 15 Iowa counties.”

The purpose of this new agreement, according to the documents provided is to create a mental health and disability service region to provide local access to mental health and disability services more easily and at a higher quality by centralizing the organizations management under the state rather than in individual counties.

To summarize and clarify, because CICS is now receiving their funding directly from the state and not individual counties anymore, the county’s they serve need to approve this change.

“This new agreement means that our funding is now coming down from the state rather than coming from county tax levies. 28E will allow CICS to move and manage our staff much more effectively, which in turn will allow us to provide more services to those in need throughout Central Iowa,” Stursma said.

All of CICS do plan on staying at the organizations current offices, which will still be located at their old, county owned, locations.

The board approved the new agreement unanimously. This new state-based funding model will take effect, July 1, 2022.

The board then moved on to hear a proposal to hire a new, part-time Social Media Specialist.

This position opened up a few weeks ago, after the former employee inhabiting this position accepted another job in the private sector. The new employee taking over the position, Jennifer Cross, will be making $18.45/hr and working less than 30 hours a week.

“We don’t know exactly how many hours she will be working week to week. The job description states that she’ll be working as much as she’s needed,” IT Director, Ryan Eaton said.

The board approved Cross’ hiring unanimously.

In other business -

- The Jasper County government website received a rebranding earlier this week. According to Board Member Brandon Talsma the service that designs and manages the website offers a “refresh and rebrand” every few years and the county accepted to help make the website more user friendly.

Abby Knipfel

Abby "Adler" Knipfel

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