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Hospital Contract Gains Approval

By Staff | Sep 10, 2013

Palo Alto County Supervisors approved a contract for services with the Spencer Municipal Hospital during their weekly meeting on Sept. 3. The Supervisors also were updated on a planned informational meeting for residents of the Silver Lake area as well.

The county’s mental health coordinator, Maureen Sandberg, presented the board with a contract for mental health hospital committal services from the Spencer Hospital for consideration.

“The Spencer Hospital has offered us a contract at a rate of $657.38 per day for mental health committal patients,” Sandberg explained. “That is the same rate per day that Medicaid pays per day for reimbursements, and it’s also $200 a day cheaper than the rate offered by Mason City.”

According to Sandberg, the Spencer hospital had not been accepting committal cases for some time due to construction and remodeling of their mental health wing. Due to that, any committals from the county had to be taken wherever space was available, which required the Palo Alto County Sheriff’s Office to incur extra expenses in transportation to various hospitals in the state.

“The sheriff’s office will be happy with this, I know they’ve had to make some very long transports,” Sandberg said.

With little discussion, the board approved entering into the one-year contract on a unanimous vote.

Palo Alto County Engineer Joel Fantz reported to the board that with the harvest approaching, the time to hold an informational meeting for residents who will be involved in the Silver Lake Scenic Byway project.

“There are some landowners in that area who do go south for the winter, and they need to be made aware of what the project is going to entail,” Fantz explained, “We have held these types of meeting on other projects, and they are a good way to get the correct, complete information out to the residents who will be affected by the project.”

The project will involve relocating, grading and paving a stretch of 420 Street east from the Palo Alto-Clay County line to connect with the “Highway to Heaven” from Ayrshire. The road will provide additional access for the PRO Cooperative feed mill being built west of Ayrshire.

In looking at the calendar, Fantz and the board tentatively set Wednesday, Sept. 25, at 7 p.m. in the Ayrshire Community Center as the time and place for the informational meeting. Letters to the affected landowners will be sent out by the engineer’s office, and the meeting is open to the public.

County Auditors Carmen Moser advised the board that she had received a bid from Dan Cooper Construction to repair and replace a portion of sidewalk on the northeast side of the courthouse at a cost of $1,463, which would entail the construction of 60 feet of four-inch sidewalk. Additionally, tiling to take water from the eaves troughs away from the building will be part of the project, at a bid cost of $752.

In a final item of business, Palo Alto County Sheriff Lynn Schultes presented the employment agreement with the Palo Alto County Sheriff’s Office employee group for the board’s approval. The agreement was given unanimous approval by the supervisors.