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Emmet County Board of Supervisors UDMO to acquire Roosevelt North

Whitney updates supervisors

April 20, 2019
Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer ( , Estherville News

Jamey Whitney of Upper Des Moines Opportunity provided the Emmet County supervisors with a six-month update at the board's Tuesday meeting. Whitney said in the past six months, the Emmet County office of UDMO has served 5,257 people, while during all of last year, the local office served 6,520.

"We're showing a high increase in need," Whitney said.

Whitney and T.J. Thayer, UDMO operations director, said federal funds have been approved for securing ownership of the Roosevelt Building. The building is presently being used for Head Start in Estherville. UDMO has put in about $300,000 so far, and will focus on the sprinkler system and a few other required upgrades.

With the transfer of ownership, the use of Roosevelt Auditorium will change. Whitney said the specs in the auditorium have been grandfathered in due to the Estherville Lincoln Central school district's continuous ownership of the building since 1929. After the transfer of ownership, the building, including the auditorium, will have to meet state code. The auditorium is currently not up to code in its fresh air ventilation. This would have to be upgraded before UDMO could use the space or lease it to others.

"We would collaborate with the school district to work on this issue if they were amenable to it," Whitney said.

In other business, the supervisors approved a local match for the county's hazard mitigation grant. Emergency Management Director Travis Sheridan is applying for the grant, which will provide funds for warning sirens at the county's area campgrounds.

Christina Eggink-Postma of Seasons Center spoke to the supervisors about substance abuse services the Spencer-based agency could provide for Emmet County. Seasons has an office in Estherville.

"Our number-one priority is to make sure clients of Compass Pointe have an opportunity to get the services they need," Eggink-Postma said. Compass Pointe closed all its offices Monday.

Eggink-Postma said Seasons Center has extended its hours and will hire additional staff. In order to acquire state funds to continue some of Compass Pointe's services, Seasons Center will have to go through the grant acquisition process and receive the grant awards. This could take time.

County engineer Walter Davis-Oeth addressed the supervisors about a sinkhole on Highway 15, approximately two miles north of Armstrong. This falls in the Department of Transportation's right-of-way and the state will cover the repair. Davis-Oeth said a drainage tile under the road has collapsed. The DOT will require two to three weeks to repair the road.

The next meeting of the Emmet County Board of Supervisors will be Tuesday, April 23 at 9 a.m. in the board room of the Emmet County Courthouse.



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