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home : news : news Sunday, May 1, 2016

3/27/2013 Email this articlePrint this article 
County to revise application for mental health region

By Jeremy Huss
Staff writer

Clinton County's director of mental health will meet this week with representatives of the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) to revise and re-format the county's application for approval of an eastern Iowa mental health region.

Mental health director Becky Eskildsen told the Clinton County Board of Supervisors March 25 she will meet with DHS representative Julie Jetter in response to a March 11 letter in which the DHS said the original submission was insufficient.

Clinton County approved the letter of intent to form the mental health and disability services region last fall along with the supervisors in Cedar, Jackson, Muscatine and Scott counties.

According to the DHS, the letter of intent from the regional supervisors failed to address all the requirements provided in the legislation authorizing the statewide mental health redesign.

While the region meets requirements to have at least three contiguous counties, the letter did not address the following requirements:

•The region has the capacity to provide the required core services and perform required functions.

•The region has a contract with at least one community mental health center or federally-qualified health center that provides psychiatric and outpatient mental health services in the region or has written intent to enter into a contract with a provider.

•The region has a contract with a hospital with an inpatient psychiatric unit or a state mental health institute located within reasonable proximity that has the capacity to provide inpatient services to the region or has a written intent to enter into a contract with a provider.

•The region has an administrative structure with clear lines of accountability, and the region functions as a lead agency utilizing shared county staff or other means of limiting administrative costs.

"When we originally did that letter of intent, we were under the understanding we did not need to include those things," Eskildsen said.

Eskildsen said the DHS will help the county prepare a letter that meets the agency's expectations, and she does not expect further difficulties.

On a separate but related topic, Eskildsen said she believes the DHS should be responsible for the costs of a consultant the regional group is hiring to assist in complying with the redesign legislation.

"I still think we need to hold DHS' feet to the fire and say, 'You need to pay for this,'" Eskildsen said.

Eskildsen said she thinks changes related to replacing the term "legal settlement" with "residency" will be "a wash" financially, but she has a bigger concern about the transfer of the state payment program to counties. Clinton County previously received $340,000 per year under the program.

Eskildsen said she's heard several different scenarios, but it's unclear how the transition will play out.

Board approves courthouse cameras

At the recommendation of building maintenance manager Corey Johnson, the board approved a contract with Lectronics of Clinton for $11,365 to install six cameras at the courthouse for security purposes.

The Honeywell brand cameras will be connected to the Internet to allow monitoring on up to 10 different computer systems and will have digital video recording capability.

The system will allow for installation of up to 16 cameras. The initial six will be placed at locations inside the building, and security staff will evaluate possible additional locations for cameras.

Keycards approved for administration building

The board approved a contract with Tri-City Electric of Clinton for $24,870 to install a keycard access system at the county administration building.

The bid from Tri-City was approximately $5,000 more than the bid from Hartz Lock of Clinton, but Johnson said the bid from Hartz does not include all of the installation costs.

The bid from Tri-City includes pulling and installing all necessary wiring, while the county would have to use its own labor or hire a separate company to pull wire with the bid from Hartz, he said.

The system will allow keycard access by employees at the main entry doors and at an employee entrance near the garage. Other doors, such as an emergency door at the treasurer's office, will be set to alarm when opened.

The main entry doors will be the only public entrance, and doors at the auditor's office will be designated exit only.

Board denies postal service request

The supervisors turned down a request from the United States Postal Service to allow a bulk mail carrier to store a vehicle at the secondary roads maintenance shed at Andover.

"Ultimately, if it was our decision, we'd just as soon not have it there," assistant county engineer Elliot Pennock told the board.

Other business

In other business, the board:

•Approved an exterior design option for the Candlelight building renovation. The design includes a canopy over the main entrance, installation of additional windows, a brick exterior and a sub-wall to hide mechanical systems on the roof.

•Approved property tax suspension requests from Samadin and Salije Akiti, 1505 Sixth Ave. S., Clinton; Carl and Lorie Feuss, 800 Winter St., Lost Nation; Finis Drake, 746 13th Ave. S., Clinton.

•Approved a tax adjustment due to the sale of a mobile home.

•Approved a 2.5 percent pay raise for Jenny Kreiter as director of the Clinton/Jackson county early childhood program.

•Accepted the resignation of Lt. Dan Birdsley from the Clinton County sheriff's office after 30 years of service.

•Approved the appointment of Alma Mariano as clerk II in the treasurer's office to replace a retiring staff member.

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