Accessibility is being improved at the new Hamilton County Public Health building, according to Duane Hendrickson, chairman of the Hamilton County Board of Health.
The Hamilton County board of supervisors met for their bi-weekly meeting on Tuesday and held a public hearing on the public health remodel project. Supervisor Wesley Sweedler said improvements to office space, parking and more would make the building better for everyone involved.
"I mean, this is not going to be excessive room but it's going to be laid out way more user and staff friendly than what we're at right now," Sweedler said.
-Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Jim Krajewski
The former UAW?hall was purchased by the county. The Board of Supervisors will be awarding a contract for remodeling on July 24.
The board will open construction bids for the project on July 23 and award a contract the next day. The contract will be approved and signed on Aug. 14.
Treasurer Deborah Leksell also met with the board to discuss the semiannual settlement of assets. The general basic fund stands at $1,493,131, up $374,768 from 2011. Motor vehicle revenue increased $8,900, but driver's license fees were $7,000 less than expected. A total of the board's relevant funds comes to $4,423,708, up $703,677 since last year.
However, Leksell said interest rates on these invested funds are disappointing.
"We're not getting a good return on our money, period," Leksell said. "And don't budget for it."
The board also reaffirmed its commitment to the economic health of rural Hamilton County communities. Executive Director of SEED, Success Enriching Economic Development, Catherine Bergman said downtown areas are important for an area's economic health. This is because of the relatively large number of employees those businesses retain and downtown's effect on property taxes.
Hamilton County was the first to adopt the Main Street Iowa program county-wide in 1991. It remains Iowa's only county-wide program. Since it's inception, Bergman said $1,811,553 private dollars have been invested in downtown property acquisition in Hamilton County, and volunteers have worked a total of 82,643 hours. Chairman of the board David Young said programs such as Stratford's facade program and the renovations of buildings in Jewell do great things for the community.
"You drive the streets of those towns and you notice there are positive things happening," Young said.
During the meeting, the board also:
Discussed closing the Albright Bridge in Independence Township on July 25. Repairs should take a week.
Set a public hearing to consider recodification of county ordinances on July 24.
Acknowledged Van Diest Supply's plan to convert two large LP tanks to use anhydrous fuel.
Hired a new part-time jailer.