Coalition requests $10,000 in county funding

Board of Supervisors
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     This time of the year, multiple organizations and entities throughout Jones County, or serving the county, meet with the Board of Supervisors to request funding.

     During the Jan. 29 supervisor meeting, Jennifer Husmann, project coordinator with the Safe and Healthy Youth Coalition, provided the board with an update on their services. She also requested $10,000 in funding for Fiscal Year 2020. This was the same amount of funding the Coalition requested last fiscal year as well.

     In terms of the Coalition’s financial situation, Husmann said they completed the 10-year cycle of Drug Free Community Grant in September of 2018. This grant provided $125,000 a year for 10 years.

     “We were given a co-cost extension through the end of March,” Husmann said of the Drug Free grant.

     Last June, the Coalition received news that they were one of 55 recipients in the country to receive the 2018 CARA (Comprehensive Additional and Recovery Act) Local Drug Crisis grant. This provided $50,000 a year for three years.

     “Starting April 1, we will no longer be 100 percent funded,” Husmann told the supervisors. “We’ve been receiving $125,000 since 2008. Right now, we’re 50 percent funded.”

     Husmann said in order to keep providing the services the Coalition is accustomed to, they would need $100,000 “to survive with a mostly full-time coordinator.”

     She said that’s why they asked the county for more money last year (the county used to appropriate $3,000 towards the Coalition). They also requested an increase in funding from the cities.

     “We want to get closer to the per capita rate,” said Husmann of the cities’ funding appropriations.

     She said the Coalition has been saving some money as well, knowing they need to be prepared for the future.

     “We’ve been really wise with our money,” said Husmann.

     ASAC (Area Substance Abuse Council) serves as the Coalition’s fiscal agent. Husmann praised ASAC for their support as well.

     “We’ve been writing a lot of local grants for programming and youth education,” she said. “We’re really focusing on mental health, and to help build resilience with the kids.”

In other county business:

     Retired Jail Administrator Mike Elkin met with the board to request that he be allowed to keep his county-assigned cell phone number.

     “I’ve had this number for 25 years,” said Elkin.

     He said not only do several professionals in his line of business have his cell number, but also several personal contacts as well.

     “I don’t see a reason why not,” he said.

     County Attorney Kristofer Lyons said county policy dictates that county employees are not to use their county-issued technology for personal use.

     “You enforce the policies,” Lyons said to the board. “This is a policy decision the board has to make.”

     Lyons said he feels the county should not be in the business of issuing county technology for personal use. Elkin said that county policy was put in place after he was issued a county cell phone. “My number was established before the policy,” he said.

     New Jail Administrator Tess LeMense said she would prefer not to have Elkin’s county cell phone number to simply avoid receiving his personal calls.

     County IT Coordinator Lisa Mootz said she carries around two cell phones, her county phone and her personal phone, at all times. She said in this case, depending on what the board decided, Elkin’s number would get disconnected.

     “I checked with other counties, and they don’t allow it,” Mootz said of county employees keeping their cell phone numbers.

     County Auditor Janine Sulzner said when the previous conservation director (Larry Gullett) left, his cell phone was handed over to the new director (Brad Mormann).

     The board previously discussed this same issue in October before Elkin’s retirement. At the time, there was an informal decision not to allow him to take over his county cell phone number.

     • Supervisor Joe Oswald reported that the Maquoketa River Watershed Authority is requesting $1 per capita from the county for funding. The request does not include the cities/towns that are also under the Watershed Authority agreement.

     • The board approved of the hiring of Julie Althoff as a full-time deputy recorder, per Recorder Sheri Jones’ request. Althoff officially took over the position on Feb. 1. She’s been working part-time in the Recorder’s Office since September 2016.

     Althoff will receive a salary of $37,252.

     Jones said she will now start advertising for a part-time associate for her office.

     • The board approved spending $4,000 with Shive-Hattery, Inc. to split the courthouse Site Improvement Project into three separate projects.

     Chris Nelson with Shive-Hattery said the county might receive better bids and more local bids by going this route versus bidding as one large project.



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