Board talks about mental health payments

Jefferson County Supervisor Dee Sandquist advised the Board of Supervisors Monday that she received some feedback about getting contracted service provided through the local mental health office after learning all of the South East Iowa Link is similarly affected.

Sandquist has already informed Washington County Supervisor Jack Seward, who is on the SEIL finance committee, and is investigating the matter. Sandquist said the contracted agency will not do the service because they say this county is slow at paying. She asked Sandy Stever, Central Point Coordinator of Jefferson County Mental Health, and Leah Craff, CPC assistant, to explain to the board the cumbersome process for claims made to the regional finance committee and how the providence board of SEIL pays the service providers, which can take as long as 90 days.

The finance committee recommended for the time being that Craff would stamp date all service agent claims for money. Upon hearing there are 30 days in the claims process, another 30 days in the payment process, and then possibly another 30 days within which agents receive their compensation, Supervisor Lee Dimmitt suggested Sandquist and Stever recommend to the regional mental health governance board meeting a system similar to the RUSS board, wherein the claims arrive to that finance committee, checks are made out and then approved at the end of the meeting so they may be distributed immediately. If there is an issue with one claim, it is pulled at the meeting.

Roads and bridges

County Engineer Scott Cline said the board’s road tour could include seeing the progress of a bridge deck, core, and the approaches; the work in progress of rock washed off in the heavy rains being reclaimed and brought back up onto the roads of Osage, 160th, and Fir; blading the shoulders where heavy run-off took place last week. Cline also said that three culverts will need to be replaced on Willow Boulevard, four pipes eroded along 250th Street due to heavy rain. So far, there has been one pavement blow up which will be patched. The Iowa Department of Transportation has responded to Cline’s inquiry about the bridge load limits, saying 6,000 pounds is the standard now.

Letter of opposition

Dimmitt recommended and the board approved to send a letter to the Iowa Utilities Board with a resolution to oppose the rate increase proposed by Alliant Energy that would raise base rates 24.45 percent for residential customers, 18.36 percent for general service customers, and 25.29 percent for large general service customers. The three supervisors, as part of the resolution, encourage all residents and ratepayers to voice their perspectives and concerns online through the Iowa Utilities Board’s open docket comment form or by emailing

Bible Reading Marathon

Mary J. Russell and Barb Hirschler of Fairfield, asked the board for permission to host the annual Bible Reading Marathon on the courthouse lawn from 6:45-8:45 a.m. Sunday, July 14th. If there is rain, the marathon will be held elsewhere. All 99 Iowa counties participate by each county reading certain chapters from the Bible during the given time.