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home : news : news Wednesday, May 25, 2016

3/29/2014 Email this articlePrint this article 
Mental health region takes shape with governing board and budget

By Jeremy Huss
Staff writer

A governing board has been appointed for the Eastern Iowa Mental Health and Disability Services Region and a proposed budget is ready to be submitted to state officials, according to Clinton County supervisor Brian Schmidt.

Last week, the Clinton County Board of Supervisors approved a 28E agreement with Cedar, Jackson, Muscatine and Scott counties to formally establish the region and how it will operate. Schmidt was appointed the county's representative to the governing board.

The governing board includes one supervisor from each member county and two non-voting members representing service providers and clients.

Scott County supervisor Larry Minard will chair the board this year, and Scott County mental health director Lori Elam will serve as the region's chief executive officer.

Vice chair of the board is Jackson County supervisor Jack Willey, and the secretary is Kas Kelly of Muscatine County. The vice chair will rotate to the chair position after one year. The CEO position also will rotate annually, with the CEO being the mental health director from the same county as the board chair.

On Tuesday, Schmidt presented the region's proposed service and budget plan, which projects spending of approximately $16 million in fiscal year 2015 across the five member counties.

The budget breaks down spending in each category for core services, mandated services, core-plus services and administrative services, and estimates expenses for each program, from outpatient therapy to court commitments and crisis services.

The regional governing board will meet at 3 p.m. the third Monday of each month in Room 638 of the Scott County administration building. Upcoming meetings are April 21 and May 19.

At the April 21 meeting, the board will discuss whether to hold a public hearing on the proposed budget. The legislation that created the mental health regions does not require a public hearing, but the board of supervisors supports holding one to allow for public input.

The board also will discuss acquiring bids for liability insurance for the region, Schmidt said.

Winter keeps road crews busy

Road crews are three snowfalls away from tying the county's record for the most deployments in a single winter, county engineer Todd Kinney reported Tuesday to the board of supervisors.

Crews have been deployed for snow and ice removal 39 times this winter, second only to the 2007-08 season, when they went out 42 times for snow and ice removal.

A budget amendment likely will be required to account for costs associated with fall floods and the winter season, Kinney said.

Board to meet 15 minutes earlier

The board of supervisors will test out a revised schedule, beginning meetings at 9 a.m. instead of 9:15 a.m. in order to review billing claims, under a proposal advanced by auditor Eric Van Lancker.

The supervisors currently receive and approve a list of claims, but Van Lancker said reviewing them individually will give them a better idea of how departments are spending money as the year progresses.

"It'll help them relate to the budget better and be better connected to what the departments are doing," Van Lancker said.

Other business

In other business, the board:

•Discussed extending hours for processing gun permit ID cards on Fridays. Currently, cards are available only 8:30 a.m.-noon on Fridays.

•Approved the purchase of an equipment trailer for the roadside management department for $11,335 from Roeder Brothers.

•Approved a tax adjustment for $94 in mobile home taxes deemed uncollectible.

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