Coalition seeks $10,000 in county funding

Board of Supervisors
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     In an effort to remain sustainable, the Jones County Safe and Healthy Youth Coalition asked the county to consider a $10,000 appropriation for Fiscal Year 2019. This is a big jump from the $3,000 the county added to their budget last year.

     Coalition Project Coordinator Jennifer Husmann was present at the Jan. 30 Jones County Supervisors meeting to provide an update on the Coalition’s activities in 2017.

     “We’re continuing our community effort to sustain the program,” Husmann said.

     Aside from asking the county for increased funding, the Coalition has also asked the cities of Monticello and Anamosa for $2,000 each, which the Monticello City Council approved. Husmann said they plan to ask the smaller communities in the county for funding as well at $500 each.

     “We want to continue our effort to reduce youth substance abuse,” Husmann said.

     The Coalition also established an endowment fund, with about $41,000 sitting in the fund. They continue to hold fundraisers throughout the year.

     “We want to put more emphasis on mental health and how it relates to substance abuse,” shared Husmann.

     She shared that statistics show that youth meth and opioid use in the area is higher than the national average. Due to the high numbers, the Coalition is waiting to hear on a $50,000 grant to assist in reducing meth use. Husmann said the grant would cover a three-year period.

     “We’re seeing meth get into our high schools,” she said.

     Husmann assured the supervisors that their funding is not planned for staff salary, but to help with “all the other things needed to run the office and for us to do our job.”

In other county business:

     Several residents on 75th Avenue in Richland Township (Dave Morreim, Mike Beck, Randy Manternach, Jerry Strang, and Dave Benke) were present at the board meeting to discuss the deterioration of the road.

     The sealed-coated road, Beck explained, was last updated in 1992. While the center, travel portion of the road is in good shape, he said the shoulders/edges are in poor shape and only getting worse every day, especially in the winter with the plows scraping over them.

     “It’s not a replacement deal,” said Beck, “but maintenance on the edges would be great.”

     He said with 19 homes on a 1-mile stretch of 75th Avenue they have a “pretty stable tax base.”

     County Engineer Derek Snead and Supervisor Wayne Manternach explained the surface stabilization process that was done on 150th Avenue in Monticello and Forest Chapel Road outside of Anamosa.

     “It’s difficult to patch a sealed-coated road,” Snead said. Turning 75th Avenue into a granular surface road would also lend to better maintenance and stabilization over time.

     Several of the residents asked how their property values would be affected if this road were turned into a gravel road. The supervisors and Snead could not answer that question.

     “That’s a question for the assessor,” Manternach said.

     • The board approved acceptance of bids for a new tandem cab and chassis for Secondary Roads through Feb. 13.

     The board approved the purchase of dump body and snowplow equipment from Trans Iowa Equipment in the amount of $85,780, based on the Minnesota State bid. The board also waived following the county’s purchase policy due to the fact that Iowa does not have a state bid for this type of equipment.

     Secondary Roads will build the plow in-house to save on time and money.

     Snead expects to have the equipment by July 1.

     The board approved re-hiring Bethany Wheaton on a temporary basis as Jones County’s Mental Health advocate. Supervisor Manternach said Wheaton would fulfill the position until they can find someone to permanently fill the role.

     The board authorized Community Services Director Lucia Herman to provide services to the mental health region for the duration of 95 percent of her weekly schedule. The remaining 5 percent will be dedicated to Jones County General Assistance.

     The board approved the appointment of Doug Wortman on the ECICOG Revolving Loan Fund Committee. They are still looking for a county citizen to serve on the ECICOG Board of Directors.

     The board approved the acceptance of bids for asbestos abatement and deconstruction of the former Dirks Oil Station, located at 311 W. Main St. in Wyoming. Bids will be accepted by Feb. 20.

     The project won’t start until July 1 or after.


Subscriber Login