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Holiday Season Heralds Start Of Funding Requests From Supervisors

By Staff | Nov 28, 2008

With the holiday season beginning, the Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors received their first requests for funding for the next fiscal year during the Nov. 25 meeting. Supervisors also approved a plat for a new subdivision at Silver Lake southwest of Ayrshire during the session.

Cynthia Beauman of Northwest Aging in Spencer appeared to brief the supervisors on her agency’s services in the county during the past year. Beauman noted that Northwest Aging was seeing increasing demands for its Caregiver Program and its Case Management services, as more elderly residents are choosing to stay in their homes longer.

“Our funds are shrinking as the demands for the services keep increasing,” Beauman said. “In Palo Alto County alone, we received $55,000 worth of volunteer assistance last year and in our nine-county service area, we were fortunate to receive $365,000 worth of volunteer labor for our programs. We are so fortunate to have people who are willing to give of themselves to help their neighbors.”

According to Beauman, Northwest Aging spent a total of $187,762 in Palo Alto County to deliver its programs and services in the past year.

“We have not asked for any increase in funding in the past four years, but this year, we are asking for 10 cents more per person over the age of 60 in Palo Alto County,” Beauman said. “That would be an increase in our asking of $267, from $6,937 to $7,204.”

The county had provided a total of $6,500 to Northwest Aging last year.

“Your county donation helps us meet our Federal Match. Our state funding has been cut drastically so that is why we depend on our county funding to meet the Federal Match,” Beaman said.

The request was taken under advisement for the upcoming budgeting process.

Kris Ausborn, President of the Palo Alto County Economic Development Corporation, appeared for the quarterly report on the group’s activities, along with Executive Director Maureen Elbert. Ausborn noted that last year, the supervisors had funded PACEDC in the amount of $60,000 last year. “If it were possible to fund an additional 50 cents per person, we could realize $65,000 next year,” Ausborn said, “but anything you can give us would be greatly appreciated.”

The board also approved PACEDC’s request for a Palo Alto County Gaming Development grant application to be filed under the county’s 501.c3 designation.

“We are enjoying strong support throughout the county,” Ausborn said. “All of the banks in the county are involved in supporting our efforts along with the communities. Please know that your role is an important piece in what we do and we are very grateful for your continued support.”

Palo Alto County Zoning Administrator Joe Neary appeared before the board to present the final plat for the Silver Lake Shores, a subdivision located in Section 20 of Silver Lake Township. The developer of the subdivision is Secluded Land Company of DeSoto, Wisc. A total of 31 lots make up the tract.

“Planning and Zoning met Monday, Nov. 24, and approved the proposed plat of this subdivision,” Neary noted. “The developers have agreed after meeting with the county engineer that they will build a road to service these lots.”

According to Mike Feuster, a representative of Secluded Land, the road will be gravel, but will be built to current specifications, 24 feet wide, so that if at some point in the future the county did assume ownership of the road, it would meet road guidelines.

“These will be bare lots, with the average size 100 feet wide and 400 feet deep,” Feuster told the board. “They will have rural water, electric from Iowa Lakes Electric and private septic systems.”

The board approved the plat on a 3-0 vote, with Supervisors Jerry Hofstad and Ron Graettinger absent.

In final actions, the supervisors approved a resolution to join the Central Iowa Detention Center in Eldora at a projected savings of $13,000 per year for housing of juvenile offenders. Currently, the county sends juveniles to the Youth Emergency Services center in Cherokee at a cost of $175 per day for each person. The cost per day at Central Iowa Detention is $80 per day.

The board also presented its counter proposal to the Sheriff’s Office Employee unit The group had presented a wage increase proposal of 5.8 percent to the board earlier in November, and in Tuesday’s session, the board offered a counter proposal of 2.8 percent. Under the collective bargaining regulations, the two sides will now enter negotiations.