By Michael Tidemann
The Emmet County Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved provider contracts for both Seasons Center for Community Mental Health and Compass Point.
County mental health coordinator Dorothy Christensen recalled that the board had earlier decided to delete a catchment fee that covered emergency services, medication and indigent care. The $74,782.36 fee was paid over 12 months. That's in addition to $24,000 paid yearly for fees for services.
However, after she and supervisors Ron Smith and Bev Juhl had met with Seasons, Christensen said they had decided to bring back the original contract - which included the catchment fee - for signing.
After the board approved the contract as originally presented by Seasons, Christensen cautioned the board of the impending funding crunch in the mental-health budget.
"We have the funding this fiscal year to do this. There's a couple issues for next year," Christensen said.
She was speaking of Iowa Senate File 2315 which caps the maximum amount counties can levy for mental health at $47.28 per capita. With a current population of $10,104, Christensen said that would reduce the county's current levy from $820,900 to $477,717. By contrast, Christensen said Dickinson County, which currently levies $412,509 for mental health, will be able to up its levy to $798,985, with the state making up the difference.
As a result of the levy limit, Emmet County will have to cut services, forcing the county to cut nonmandated services.
Christensen said the county has had its current levy since 1996.
All counties must join a regional compact to fund mental health by July 1, 2014. Christensen said counties must notify the Iowa Department of Human Services by April 1, 2013, and indicate which group they are joining.
Emmet County currently belongs to the Northwest Iowa Contracting Consortium.
The board also approved a subcontractor services agreement with Compass Pointe.
In another matter, auditor Mikki Erickson said the satellite voting station will be open in Armstrong Oct. 16. The station is for use by residents of the City of Armstrong and Armstrong Grove and Iowa Lake townships.
The board approved claims and drainage bills and heard the road report from engineer Roger Patocka who noted the contractor had eight working days to finish the Riverview bridge before a
$1,000 daily penalty would start.