The Mahaska County Board of Supervisors met for their regularly scheduled meeting Monday morning, and a couple of recurring themes were the main headlines.
The major topic of discussion involved the former Country Life Health Care facility, which will be closing its doors and be completely emptied at the end of November.
There were several items of discussion on the topic, including what will happen with the facility. Vice Chair Willie Van Weelden invited Pastor Jon Nelson of Central Reformed Church to speak to the Board. Nelson stated that he felt there was a need for a building for transitional housing or a shelter, and that the churches in town could organize the facility.
Following that, the Board began talking about what the best ideas would be. First, they would disconnect the power and water until they have a new occupant, should that be the course of action. Next, they ended the insurance coverage on the building, as they are not sure yet if it will be demolished before or after a sale.
Supervisor Mike VanderMolen stated that he believed it would make the most sense to auction off the land with the building on it, and the section of land that is next to the building. Chair Mark Doland agreed with this, and they will continue the discussion further at a later meeting.
One major concern was that the building should not sit unoccupied for too long, as it could become a target for vandalism and become an eyesore off the highway. This will be kept in mind to keep a fairly brisk timeline engaged.
The next major topic on the agenda involved the Local Option Sales Tax. All three supervisors stated that they felt as though there was no real need for a large sum of the county tax to go toward the proposed recreation center and childcare facility. They were concerned where the ownership of the building would go, among other questions. The Board would likely put the money toward a conservation learning center that they have already invested some money in, as well as the secondary roads in the county.
Following the meeting in the public comments, Andrew Jensen of the Mahaska Community Development Group said the Board’s lack of interest in helping the funding for the recreation and childcare facility was “disingenuous.” He cited a meeting dedicated to discussion on the Local Option Sales Tax a few weeks ago, which nearly half of the attendees voiced support for that particular project. The Board adjourned following the comments with nothing further.
Also in the meeting the Board:
- Considered Courthouse Security recommendations, appointing Troy Bemis as the Courthouse Security Director
- Set a public hearing for December 7th at 9 AM in the Mahaska County Courthouse for road vacations for an alley in the Town of Wright and West Street in the Town of Truax
- Set a public hearing for December 7th at 9:05 AM in the Mahaska County Courthouse for reclassification to Level C status of Resolve Avenue and 300th Street
- Approved eleven stop sign resolutions for some of the uncontrolled intersections throughout the county
The next meeting of the Mahaska County Board of Supervisors is set for December 7th in the Mahaska County Courthouse 3rd Floor Conference Room. The meeting will be called to order at 9 AM.